MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression and are related to endothelial dysfunction (EnD). Recently, miRNAs have also been explored as potential biomarkers and target molecular therapy of erectile dysfunction (ED). Could the miRNAs be the tip of the iceberg of chronic arterial disease foreshadowed by the ED?
To investigate the expression of miR-15b, miR-16, miR-138, miR-221, and miR-222 in corpus cavernosum (CC) and peripheral blood in a rat model of endothelium dysfunction secondary to diabetes (DM) and alcohol consumption to assess potential endothelial lesion biomarkers.
Twenty males Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups: control group (C), alcohol consumption group (A), diabetic group (D), diabetic-alcohol consumption group (D + A). DM was alloxan-induced and alcohol consumption was through progressive increase of ethanol concentration in drinkable water. After 7 weeks, miRNAs expressions from CC and blood sample were evaluated by real-time PCR. Functional assessment of CC was performed in an acetylcholine endothelium-dependent relaxation pharmacological study.
miRNA expression in CC and blood were evaluated; pharmacological study in CC strips was conducted to validate EnD.
We found that 3 miRNAs (miR-16, miR-221, and miR-222) were downregulated in the CC in the D+A group, while all 5 miRNAs were downregulated in the blood of D and D + A groups. The endothelium-dependent relaxation induced by acetylcholine was significantly decreased in groups A, D, and D + A. Diagnostic accuracy estimated by AUC, to discriminating groups A, D, and D + A from controls, was superior to >0.9 in all plasmatic miRNAs.
miRNAs downregulation was identified in both CC and blood notably in DM associated with alcohol consumption animals (D + A), the greatest endothelial injury potential group. Serum miRNAs have also demonstrated high diagnostic accuracy properties in predicting CC relaxation dysfunction labeling EnD. RB Tiraboschi, FSL Neto, DP da Cunha Tirapelli, et al. Expression of MicroRNAs (miR-15b, miR-16, miR-138, miR-221, and miR-222) as Biomarkers of Endothelial Corpus Cavernosum Dysfunction in a Diabetic Alcoholic Murine Model. Sex Med 2021;XX:XXX-XXX.

Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.