Dipyridamole reduces penile apoptosis in a rat model of post-prostatectomy erectile dysfunction

<div><p>ABSTRACT Purpose: Despite the nerve-sparing technique, many patients suffer from erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy (RP) due to cavernous nerve injury. The aim of this study was to evaluate dipyridamole as a potential treatment agent of post-radical prostatectomy erectile dysfunction. Material and methods: A total of 18 male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into three experimental Groups (SHAM+DMSO, BCNI+DMSO and BCNI+DIP). An animal model of bilateral cavernous nerve crush injury (BCNI) was established to mimic the partial nerve damage during nerve-sparing RP. After creating of BCNI, dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) was administered transperitoneally as a vehicle to SHAM+DMSO and BCNI+DMSO Groups. BCNI+DIP Group received dipyiridamole (10mg/kg/day) as a solution in DMSO for 15 days. Afterwards, rats were evaluated for in vivo erectile response to cavernous nerve stimulation. Penile tissues were also analyzed biochemically for transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) level. Penile corporal apoptosis was determined by TUNEL method. Results: Erectile response was decreased in rats with BCNI and there was no significant improvement with dipyridamole treatment. TGF-β1 levels were increased in rats with BCNI and decreased with dipyridamole treatment. Dipyridamole led to reduced penile apoptosis in rats with BCNI and there was no significant difference when compared to sham operated rats. Conclusions: Although fifteen-day dipyridamole treatment has failed to improve erectile function in rats with BCNI, the decline in both TGF-β1 levels and apoptotic indices with treatment may be helpful in protecting penile morphology after cavernous nerve injury.</p></div>