Six 5-HT receptor types indicate a role for serotonin in the control of the penile erectile tissue

Thursday, 23 October 2008 - The treatment of psychological disturbances (depression) or premature ejaculation with selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SRI) can result in erectile dysfunction in the patients. Fourteen (14) types/subtypes of serotonin (5-HT) receptors have been described. While the types/subtypes 5-HT1(A,B,D,E) and 5-HT2(C) have been suggested to be involved in mediating contractile responses of penile erectile tissue, activation of the 5-HT4 receptor may induce relaxation. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the expression pattern of 5-HT receptors in the human corpus cavernosum penis (HCC). 

Using a molecular biology approach (Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction - RT-PCR) and specific primers, the expression of mRNA encoding for the 5-HT receptors/receptor subtypes 5-HT1(A,B,D,E), 5-HT2(C), and 5-HT4 in the HCC was investigated. 

Readings from RT-PCR were normalized to mRNA related to the house-keeping (reference) gene ß-tubulin. Analyses revealed the expression of mRNA transcripts specifically encoding for all 5-HT receptors (5-HT1, 5-HT2, 5-HT4) and receptor subtypes (1A,B,D,E; 2C) that were subject to the study. 

A total of six (6) 5-HT receptor types/subtypes are expressed in the HCC, thus indicating a role for serotonin in the control of the penile erectile tissue. These findings are likely to explain the adverse events of SRI treatment on the human male erectile response. 

Source: 60th Annual Meeting of the German Urological Association, # P 12.9
Authors: Birowo P. (1), Brauer A.(2), Ückert S. (1), Meyer M. (3), Keil C. (2), Rahardjo H.E. (1), Mägert H.J. (2), Taher A. (4), Rahardjo D. (4), Jonas U. (1)
1) Hannover Medical School, Urology, Hannover, Germany
2) Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Biotechnology, Köthen, Germany
3) FOCUS IP AG, Basel, Switzerland
4) University of Indonesia, School of Medicine - Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Urology, Jakarta, Indonesia

Edited by: FGR

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