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


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 Address:
Min Chul Cho,
Department of Urology, Seoul National University, Boramae Medical Center, Seoul 07061, Korea

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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.


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    -  Song WH
    -  Son H
    -  Kim SW
    -  Paick JS
    -  Cho MC
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