Center of Experimental Morphology

Departamento de Anatomia - Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto

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Does regular consumption of green tea influence expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptor in aged rat erectile tissue? Possible implications for vasculogenic erectile dysfunction progression


Research Area: Uncategorized Year: 2008
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: Aging, Catechins, Erectile dysfunction, Testosterone, VEGF, VEGF receptors
Authors:
Journal: Age
Number: 30 Pages: 217-228
Month: April
BibTex:
Abstract:
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a highly prevalent disease affecting millions of men worldwide with a tendency for widespread increase. ED is now considered an early manifestation of atherosclerosis and, consequently, a precursor of systemic vascular disease. Atherosclerosis and ED share potentially modifiable risk factors, as smoking or high-fat food intake, but it is unclear how regular consumption of anti-oxidant rich drinks, which exhibit recognised anti-atherosclerotic features, affects ED progression. The objective of this study was to evaluate the modulating effects of chronic consumption of catechin- rich beverages on the vascular structure of the rat corpus cavernosum, and how this could contribute to delay or prevention of the onset of ED. Male Wistar rats aged 12 months were treated with green tea (GT) or a green tea extract solution (GTE) as the only liquid source for 6 months. Consumption of GT and GTE led to decreased plasma androgen levels without any significant change in plasma lipid levels. A reduction in corpus cavernosum intracellular storage of lipids, associated with decreased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor VEGFR2 in endothelial cells, was observed. Taken together, these results suggest diminished atherosclerotic progression in cavernous tissue. However, functional studies will be necessary to elucidate if catechin-rich beverages are useful compounds in the prevention of deleterious vascular events associated with ED. It was also demonstrated that regular consumption of catechins reduces atherosclerotic progression and mortality due to cardiovascular disease. The results reported here suggest diminished atherosclerotic progression in cavernous tissue in aged rats following chronic ingestion of catechin-rich beverages.

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