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Aerobic exercise improves ejaculatory behaviors and complements dapoxetine treatment by upregulating the BDNF-5-HT duo: a pilot study in rats

Huang, Yuan-Yuan1,*; Peng, Dang-Wei1,*; Liu, Qiu-Shi1; Jiang, Hui2,3,4,; Zhang, Xian-Sheng1

1Department of Urology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230022, China

2Department of Urology, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing 100000, China

3Andrology Center, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing 100000, China

4Institute of Urology, Peking University, Beijing 100000, China

Correspondence: Dr. XS Zhang (zhangxiansheng@ahmu.edu.cn) or Dr. H Jiang (jianghui@bjmu.edu.cn)

Originally published: March 03, 2023 Received: September 12, 2022 Accepted: January 12, 2023


Accumulating evidence has revealed many clues that regular aerobic exercise benefits brain health and behaviors. The aims of this study were to explore the effect of aerobic exercise on ejaculatory behaviors, as well as to make a preliminary assessment of aerobic exercise as a complementary strategy to dapoxetine treatment in rapid ejaculators. Copulatory tests of rats and a treadmill training protocol were performed in this study. In total, 12 rapid ejaculators were selected on the basis of ejaculation distribution theory and randomly assigned to 4 groups: control (Ctrol) group, aerobic exercise (Ex) group, dapoxetine (Dapo) group, and Ex+Dapo group. We evaluated the changes in ejaculatory parameters in the 4 groups. Variations in biological markers, including serum corticosterone, serotonin (5-HT), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) of the raphe nucleus, were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The primary finding of our study was that both aerobic exercise and acute dapoxetine could enhance ejaculation control and prolong ejaculation latency in rapid ejaculator rats. The ejaculation delay effect of aerobic exercise was nearly equivalent to that of acute dapoxetine. In addition, both aerobic exercise and dapoxetine treatment could lead to increased expression of BDNF and 5-HT in the raphe nucleus of rapid ejaculators. Moreover, the two interventions, when applied together, may further upregulate the expression of BDNF-5-HT duo in a complementary manner. This study highlights the positive effects of aerobic exercise on ejaculation control. Regular aerobic exercise might be a promising complementary treatment to dapoxetine in rats.

Keywords: aerobic exercise; animal model; brain-derived neurotrophic factor; premature ejaculation; raphe nucleus; serotonin

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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.