Resveratrol stimulates hydrogen sulfide (H2S) formation to relax murine corpus cavernosum

Gunay Yetik-Anacak*, Mehmet V. Dereli, Gulnur Sevin, Ozge Ozzayim, Yasemin Erac, Asif Ahmed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Resveratrol (RVT) found in red wine protects against erectile dysfunction and relaxes penile tissue (corpus cavernosum) via a nitric oxide (NO) independent pathway. However, the mechanism remains to be elucidated. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a potent vasodilator and neuromodulator generated in corpus cavernosum. Aims: We investigated whether RVT caused the relaxation of mice corpus cavernosum (MCC) through H2S. Methods: H2S formation is measured by methylene blue assay and vascular reactivity experiments have been performed by DMT strip myograph in CD1 MCC strips. Main Outcome Measures: Endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) inhibitor Nω-Nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA, 0.1mM) or H2S inhibitor aminooxyacetic acid (AOAA, 2mM) which inhibits both cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS) and cystathionine-gamma-lyase (CSE) enzyme or combination of AOAA with PAG (CSE inhibitor) has been used in the presence/absence of RVT (0.1mM, 30min) to elucidate the role of NO or H2S pathways on the effects of RVT in MCC. Concentration-dependent relaxations to RVT, L-cysteine, sodium hydrogen sulfide (NaHS) and acetylcholine (ACh) were studied. Results: Exposure of murine corpus cavernosum to RVT increased both basal and L-cysteine-stimulated H2S formation. Both of these effects were reversed by AOAA but not by L-NNA. RVT caused concentration-dependent relaxation of MCC and that RVT-induced relaxation was significantly inhibited by AOAA or AOAA+PAG but not by L-NNA. L-cysteine caused concentration-dependent relaxations, which are inhibited by AOAA or AOAA+PAG significantly. Incubation of MCC with RVT significantly increased L-cysteine-induced relaxation, and this effect was inhibited by AOAA+PAG. However, RVT did not alter the effect of exogenous H2S (NaHS) or ACh-induced relaxations. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that RVT-induced relaxation is at least partly dependent on H2S formation and acts independent of eNOS pathway. In phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor (PDE-5i) nonresponder population, combination therapy with RVT may reverse erectile dysfunction via stimulating endogenous H2S formation. Yetik-Anacak G, Dereli MV, Sevin G, Ozzayim O, Erac Y, and Ahmed A. Resveratrol stimulates hydrogen sulfide (H2S) formation to relax murine corpus cavernosum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2004-2012
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number10
Early online date6 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note



  • corpus cavernosum
  • erectile dysfunction
  • hydrogen sulfide
  • phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor
  • Resveratrol


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