Molecular Regulation of Concomitant Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms and Erectile Dysfunction in Pelvic Ischemia.

Aging correlates with greater incidence of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and erectile dysfunction (ED) in the male population where the pathophysiological link remains elusive. The incidence of LUTS and ED correlates with the prevalence of vascular risk factors, implying potential role of arterial disorders in concomitant development of the two conditions. Human studies have revealed lower bladder and prostate blood flow in patients with LUTS suggesting that the severity of LUTS and ED correlates with the severity of vascular disorders. A close link between increased prostatic vascular resistance and greater incidence of LUTS and ED has been documented. Experimental models of atherosclerosis-induced chronic pelvic ischemia (CPI) showed increased contractile reactivity of prostatic and bladder tissues, impairment of penile erectile tissue relaxation, and simultaneous development of detrusor overactivity and ED. In the bladder, short-term ischemia caused overactive contractions while prolonged ischemia provoked degenerative responses and led to underactivity. CPI compromised structural integrity of the bladder, prostatic, and penile erectile tissues. Downstream molecular mechanisms appear to involve cellular stress and survival signaling, receptor modifications, upregulation of cytokines, and impairment of the nitric oxide pathway in cavernosal tissue. These observations may suggest pelvic ischemia as an important contributing factor in LUTS-associated ED. The aim of this narrative review is to discuss the current evidence on CPI as a possible etiologic mechanism underlying LUTS-associated ED.

International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 Dec 15*** epublish ***

Tufan Tarcan, Han-Pil Choi, Kazem M Azadzoi

Department of Urology, Marmara University School of Medicine, Istanbul 34890, Turkey., Proteomics Research Laboratory, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA., Departments of Urology and Pathology, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02130, USA.