HongJing I (HJI), a traditional Chinese herbal formula, has been confirmed to be effective for the clinical treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). However, the mechanism of action of HJI remains unclear. Here, we aimed to investigate the effect and underlying mechanisms of HJI against ED in a rat model of bilateral cavernous nerve injury (BCNI). Rats were divided into five groups: normal control (NC), BCNI-induced ED model (M), M + low-dose HJI (HL), M + medium-dose HJI (HM), and M + high-dose HJI (HH). All groups were treated with normal saline or the relevant drug for 28 consecutive days after inducing BCNI-ED. At the end of the treatment period, the intracavernous pressure (ICP) was recorded, and histological examination was conducted using Masson's trichrome staining. Immunofluorescence staining and western blotting were applied to detect the changes in fibrosis protein and Ras homolog A (RhoA), Rho-associated protein kinase 1 (ROCK1), and ROCK2 expression. We found that HJI effectively improved the ICP in the treatment groups. In addition, RhoA, ROCK1, and ROCK2 expression levels were increased upon BCNI-ED induction, and HJI successfully inhibited cavernosum fibrosis and the activation of RhoA/ROCK2 signaling. Overall, these results suggest that the effects of HJI in attenuating ED may be caused, at least in part, by the suppression of RhoA/ROCK2 signaling and alleviation of fibrosis. However, the precise mechanism surrounding this requires further investigation in future studies.
Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. 2019 Sep 16*** epublish ***
Miao-Yong Ye, Fan Zhao, Ke Ma, Kang Zhou, Wen-Jie Huang, Yin-Feng Ma, Jian-Feng Zhao, Hui-Ying Fu, Zeng-Bao Xu, Bo-Dong Lv
The Second Clinical Medical College, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310053, China., Department of Urology and Andrology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong 226001, China., Department of Urology and Andrology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310053, China., Research Institute of Urology and Andrology, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, 310053, China., Department of Urology, Huzhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Huzhou 313000, China.