Overview of potential molecular targets for hydrogen sulfide: A new strategy for treating erectile dysfunction

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a molecule of increasing interest in biology. It is now recognized as the third most important biological gasotransmitter after nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO); it freely diffuses across cellular membranes and affects various physiologic functions.

There are functional roles for H2S in sexual medicine related to cavernosal smooth muscle relaxation and the erectile mechanism. H2S may function in both normal endothelial and cavernosal smooth muscle function, as well as in the pathogenesis of erectile dysfunction (ED). This review examines the mechanisms of the role of H2S in the physiology of erection, and how it may be applied in the future to the treatment of men with multiple comorbidities and ED. The efficacy and safety profile of H2S as a therapeutic agent needs to be further defined. As research on this molecule is in the early stages, further investigation is required to determine if the mechanisms of H2S effects in animal models of ED can be translated to the human condition. These initial studies with H2S may lead to new developments in ED treatment.

Nitric oxide : biology and chemistry / official journal of the Nitric Oxide Society. 2015 Sep 14 [Epub ahead of print]

Serap Gur, Philip J Kadowitz, Suresh C Sikka, Taylor C Peak, Wayne J G Hellstrom

Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Ankara University, Turkey; Department of Urology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA, USA. , Department of Pharmacology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA, USA. , Department of Urology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA, USA. , Department of Urology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA, USA. , Department of Urology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA, USA. 

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