Proteins identified in type 2 diabetes-induced erectile dysfunction
According to a study published in the March issue of Molecular and Cellular Proteomics
, researchers at Case Western Reserve University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have discovered molecular changes associated with erectile dysfunction induced by type 2 diabetes.
A total of 75 percent of diabetic men are estimated to develop some degree of erectile dysfunction, and in some cases the condition may not respond to standard drugs.
Lead author Mark Chance and his colleagues examined diabetic rats one week and two months after the onset of the disease. By studying the abundance of proteins in the corpora - the expandable tissues that fill with blood during an erection - and comparing these rats to control rodents, they were able to identify 57 proteins that either increased or decreased in the penile tissue during diabetes.
Some proteins involved in strength and stiffness, such as collagen, were downregulated. Meanwhile, others - particularly those involved in programmed cell death and the metabolism of fats - were upregulated.
The scientists hope that these studies will lead to future diagnostic and drug targets for the condition.