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Volume 20, Issue 1 (January 2018) 20, 50–55; 10.4103/aja.aja_10_17

Role of Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK) in apoptosis of cavernosal tissue during acute phase after cavernosal nerve injury

Won Hoon Song1, Hwancheol Son2, Soo Woong Kim1, Jae-Seung Paick1, Min Chul Cho2

1 Department of Urology, Seoul National University, College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
2 Department of Urology, Seoul National University, Boramae Medical Center, Seoul 07061, Korea

Correspondence: Dr. MC Cho (cmc1206@empal.com)

Date of Submission 29-Sep-2016 Date of Decision 28-Nov-2016 Date of Acceptance 16-Jan-2017 Date of Web Publication 18-Apr-2017


The present study aimed to identify which mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 or Jun amino-terminal kinase [JNK]) was involved in cavernosal apoptosis during the acute phase after cavernosal nerve crush injury (CNCI) in rats to ameliorate apoptosis of cavernosal tissue, such as smooth muscle (SM). A total of twenty 10-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided equally into two groups: sham surgery (S) and CNCI (I). The I group approximated the clinical situation of men undergoing radical prostatectomy using two 60-second compressions of both CNs with a microsurgical vascular clamp. At 2-week postinjury, erectile response was assessed using electrostimulation. Penile tissues were harvested for immunohistochemistry analysis of alpha-SM actin (α-SMA), western blot analysis, and double immunofluorescence analysis of α-SMA and phosphorylated p38 or JNK, as well as double immunofluorescent of TUNEL and phosphorylated p38 or JNK. At 2-week postinjury, the I group had a significantly lower intracavernous pressure (ICP)/mean arterial pressure (MAP) and a lower area under the curve (AUC)/MAP than the S group. The I group also exhibited decreased immunohistochemical staining of α-SMA, an increase in the number of SM cells positive for phosphorylated JNK, an increased number of apoptotic cells positive for phosphorylated JNK, and increased JNK phosphorylation compared with the S group. However, there was no significant difference in p38 phosphorylation expression or the number of SM cells positive for phosphorylated p38 between the two groups. In conclusion, our data suggest that JNK, not p38, is involved in cavernosal apoptosis during the acute phase after partial CN damage.

Keywords: apoptosis; erectile dysfunction; Jun amino-terminal kinase; mitogen-activated protein kinases; p38; penis; prostatectomy

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Asian Journal of Andrology CN 31-1795/R ISSN 1008-682X  Copyright © 2023  Shanghai Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences.  All rights reserved.