Metformin treatment improves erectile function in an angiotensin II model of erectile dysfunction

Hicham Labazi, Brandi Wynne, R. Clinton Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Increased angiotensin II (AngII) levels cause hypertension, which is a major risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED). Numerous studies demonstrate that increased AngII levels in penile tissue are associated with ED. Recent work showed the beneficial effect of metformin in improving vascular and endothelial function, preventing oxidative stress and exhibiting anti-inflammatory effects; however, whether metformin treatment can be beneficial and restore erectile function in a model of ED has not yet been established. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that AngII induces ED by mean of increased corpus cavernosum contraction, and that metformin treatment will reverse ED in AngII treated rats by restoring normal cavernosal contraction. Materials and Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were implanted with mini-osmotic pumps containing saline or AngII (70 ng/min, 28 days). Animals were then treated with metformin (500 mg/Kg/day) or vehicle during the last week of AngII infusion. Erectile function was examined, in vivo, via electrical stimulation of the pelvic ganglion and measuring changes in the ratio of intracavernosal pressure to mean
arterial pressure (ICP/MAP). Cavernosum contractility was assessed functionally using pharmacological agonist (phenylephrine) and electrical field stimulation (EFS). Results: AngII infused rats displayed ED which was associated with increased phenylephrine (PE)-mediated contraction (Emax = 5.492 ± 0.332 mN in AngII vs Emax = 3.764 ± 0.141 in sham), as well as a significant increase in EFS-mediated corpus cavernosum contraction. Metformin treatment did not affect erectile function in sham rats. Conclusion: However, erectile function was restored in AngII infused animals and this treatment also reversed the AngII-mediated increase in corpus cavernusom contractility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages1
JournalThe Journal of Sexual Medicine
Issue numbers1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012


  • angiotensin II
  • erectile dysfunction
  • corpus cavernosum
  • hypertension
  • metformin


Dive into the research topics of 'Metformin treatment improves erectile function in an angiotensin II model of erectile dysfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this