, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 233-236

The rabbit as a model for neurourologic studies of the lower genitourinary tract

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We evaluated the rabbit as an animal model for the elucidation of the neurophysiology of erection, ejaculation, and bladder function. In 24 rabbits, stimulation of the hypogastric nerves resulted in penile tumescence and contraction of the seminal vesicles and vasa deferentia. Stimulation of the sympathetic trunks induced contraction of the penis, seminal vesicles, and vasa deferentia. Cavernous nerve stimulation induced penile erection with a mean intracavernous pressure of 113 cm H2O. Pelvic nerve stimulation elicited bladder contraction, but the intraluminal pressure was low (mean, 9.6 cm H2O) in comparison with that in other species. Our results indicate that the rabbit may be an appropriate, relatively inexpensive, and readily available model for the study of ejaculatory and erectile systems in man. However, because of anatomic variations, the rabbit bladder appears to be unsuitable for comparative studies in humans.

This work was supported by grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG Sti 96/1 und Sti 96/2-1).