World Journal of Urology

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 233–236 | Cite as

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

  • Christian G. Stief
  • Francois Benard
  • Ruud J. L. H. Bosch
  • Sherif R. Aboseif
  • Emil A. Tanagho
Free paper


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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Brindley G (1981) Electroejaculation: its technique, neurological implication and use. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 44:9Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Carati CJ, Creed KE, Keogh EJ (1987) Autonomic control of penile erection in the dog. J Physiol 384:525Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Clark JT, Smith EP, Davidson JM (1985) Evidence for the modulation of sexual behavior by alpha-adrenoreceptors in male rats. Neuroendocrinology 41:36Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dail WG, Evan AP (1974) Experimental evidence indicating that the penis of the rat is innervated by short adrenergic neurons. Am J Anat 141:203Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Diederichs W, Stief CG, Benard F, Bosch RJLH, Lue TF, Tanagho EA (1988) Sympathetic effect on erection in dogs and monkeys: J Urol 139:253AGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Domer FR, Wessler G, Brown RL, Charles HC (1978) Involvement of the sympathetic nervous system in the urinary bladder internal sphincter and in penile erection in the anesthetized cat. Invest Urol 15:404Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dorr LD, Brody MJ (1967) Hemodynamic mechanisms of erection in the canine penis. Am J Physiol 213:1526Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Eckhard C (1863) Untersuchungen über die Erektion des Hundes. Beitr Anat Physiol 3:123Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Eckhard C (1876) Über den Verlauf der nn. erigentes ineerhialb des Rückenmarkes und Gehirns. Beitr Anat Physiol 3:69Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Groat WC de, Ryall RW (1967) An excitatory action of 5-hydroxytryptamine on sympathetic preganglionic neurons. Exp Brain Res 3:299Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Henderson VE, Roepke MH (1933) On the mechanisms of erection. Am J Physiol 106:441Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Langley JN, Anderson HK (1895–1896) The innervation of the pelvic and adjoining viscera: III. The external generative organs. J Physiol 19:85Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lue TF (1986) The mechanism of penile erection in the monkey. Semin Urol 4:217Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lue TJ, Takamura T, Schmidt RA, Palubkinskas AJ, Tanagho EA (1983) Hemodynamics of erection in the monkey. J Urol 130:1237Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Nadelhalft I, Groat WC de, Morgan C (1980) Location and morphology of parasympathetic preganglionic neurons in the sacral spinal cord of the cat revealed by retrograde axonal transport of horseradish peroxidase. J Comp Neurol 193:265Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Semans JH, Langworthy OR (1938) Observation on the neurophysiology of sexual function in the male cat. J Urol 40:836Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Siroky MB, Krane RJ (1983) Neurophysiology of erection. In: Krane RJ, Siroky MB, Goldstein I (eds) Male sexual dysfunction. Little Brown, Boston, pp 9–21Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sjöstrand NO, Klinge E (1979) Principal mechanisms controlling penile retraction and protrusion in rabbits. Acta Physiol Scand 106:199Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sjöstrand NO, Klinge E (1979) Changes in penile volume during some cardiovascular reflexes and reactions in rabbit. Acta Physiol Scand 106:327Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Steers WD, McConnel J, Benson G (1984) Some pharmacologic effect of yohimbine on human and rabbit penis. J Urol 131:799Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Steers WD, Mallory B, Groat WC de (1987) Electrophysiological analysis of penile reflexes in the rat. J Urol 137:376AGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian G. Stief
    • 1
  • Francois Benard
    • 1
  • Ruud J. L. H. Bosch
    • 1
  • Sherif R. Aboseif
    • 1
  • Emil A. Tanagho
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of UrologyUniversity of California, School of MedicineSan FranciscoUSA

Personalised recommendations