Expression and distribution of key enzymes of the cyclic GMP signaling in the human clitoris: relation to phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5)

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The clitoris contributes to the normal female sexual response cycle. A significance of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (GMP) has been assumed in the control of clitoral vascular smooth muscle. As only a few investigations on the physiology of the vascular and non-vascular clitoral tissue have been carried out, knowledge on the mechanisms controlling this particular female genital organ is still vague. It has been suggested that human clitoral corpus cavernosum smooth muscle is regulated by nitric oxide (NO)/cyclic GMP and related key enzymes, such as NO synthases (NOSs) and the phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). The present study evaluated in the human clitoris, by means of immunohistochemistry, the expression and distribution of key enzymes of the cyclic GMP pathway, such as the endothelial NOS, PDE2, PDE11 and cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase type I (cGKI) in relation to the PDE5. Immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of PDE2, PDE5 and cGKI in the smooth muscle wall of blood vessels transversing the supepithelial and stromal space. Immunosignals specific for PDE2 were also identified in interstitial-like cells located in the basal epithelial layer. Staining for PDE11A was observed in single nerve trunks located in the clitoral stroma. The results are in favor of a role of the cyclic GMP signaling in the control of clitoral blood flow. It seems likely that PDE2 and PDE11 are also involved in the mechanism of local (neuro) transmission in the clitoris. International Journal of Impotence Research (2011) 23, 206-212; doi:10.1038/ijir.2011.29; published online 23 June 2011


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Reproduktionsmedicin och gynekologi


Sidor (från-till)206-212
TidskriftInternational Journal of Impotence Research
StatusPublished - 2011
Peer review utfördJa