Skip to main content
Log in

Effect of berberine on the mRNA expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in rat corpus cavernosum

  • Published:
Current Medical Science Aims and scope Submit manuscript


In order to further investigate the mechanisms of action of berberine (Ber), we assessed the effects of Ber on the mRNA expression of nitric oxide synthases (NOS) in rat corpus cavernosum. After incubation with Ber for 1 or 3 h respectively, the levels of NOS mRNA were examined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Our results showed that there were iNOS and eNOS mRNA expression in rat corpus cavernosum. Ber enhanced eNOS mRNA expression in rat penis, but exhibited no effect on the expression of iNOS mRNA (P>0.05). The present study indicated that the relaxation of Ber involved the NO-cGMP signal thansduction pathway. The enhancing effect of Ber on eNOS mRNA expression might associated with its relaxation of corpus cavernosum.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Hosogai N, Takakura S, Manda Tet al. Enzyme activities of the nitric oxide-cGMP pathway in corpus cavernosum isolated from middle-aged rats. Eur J Pharmacol, 2003, 473: 65

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Kim N N, Huang Y H, Goldstein Iet al. Inhibition of cyclic GMP hydrolysis in human corpus cavernosum smooth muscle cells by vardenafil, a novel, selective phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor. Life Sci, 2001, 69: 2249

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Corbin D J, Francis H S, Webb J D. Phosphodiesterase type 5 as a pharmacology targen in erectile dysfunction. Urology, 2002, 60: 4

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Ganzalez-Cadavid N F, Ignarro L J, Rajfer J. Nitric oxide and the cyclic GMP system in the penis. Mol Urol, 1999, 3: 51

    Google Scholar 

  5. Chancellor M B, Tirney S, Mattes C Eet al. Nitric oxide synthase gene transfer for erectile dysfunction in a rat model. BJU International, 2003, 91: 691

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Gonzalez C M, Brannigan R E, Bervig Tet al. Protein and gene expression of nitric oxide synthase isoforms I and III in the rat penile shaft. J Androl. 2001, 22: 54

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Padlasek C A, Zelner R J, Bervig T Ret al. Characterization and localization of nitric oxide synthase isoforms in the BB/WOR diabetic rat. J Urol, 2001, 166: 746

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Bivalacque T J, Champion H C, Mehta Y Set al. Adenoviral gene transfer of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) to the penis improves age-related erectile dysfunction in the rat. Int J Impot Res, 2000, 12: S8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Hurt K J, Musicki B, Palese M Aet al. Akt-dependent phosphorylation of endothelial nitric-oxide synthase mediates penile erection. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 2002, 99: 4061

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  10. Soderling S H, Beavo J A. Regualtion of cAMP and cGMP signaling: new phosphodiesterases and new functions. Curr Opin Cell Biol, 2000 12: 174

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Lin C S, Lin A, Tu Ret al. Expression of three isoforms of cGMP-binding cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE5) in human penile cavernosum. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 2000, 268: 628

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. NIH Consensus Conference, Development panel on impotence, JAMA, 1993, 270: 83

  13. Imonsen U, García-Sacristán A, Prieto D. penile arteries and erection. J Vasc Res, 2002, 39:283

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Max M, Escrig A, Gonzalez-Mora J LIn vivo electrochemical measurement of nitric oxide in corpus cavernosum penis. J Neuroscience, 2002, 119:143

    Google Scholar 

  15. Nangle M R, Cotter M A, Cameron N E. An in vitro study of corpus cavernosum and aorta from mice lacking the inducible nitric oxide synthase gene. Nitric Oxide, 2003, 9: 194

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

TAN Yan, female, born in 1976, Doctoral candidate

This project was supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30171151).

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Yan, T., Zhangyin, M., Qiang, T. et al. Effect of berberine on the mRNA expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in rat corpus cavernosum. Current Medical Science 25, 127–130 (2005).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words