ABSTRACT: This investigation was aimed at the study of age changes of penis connective tissue structures. Tissue fragments of penis were obtained from 20 cadavers of men at the age of 20-38 years in group I, and from 20 cadavers of men at the age of 41-59 years in group II. The criteria for the exclusion of material from the research were arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis of internal iliac arteries, Peyronie's disease, and anomalies of genital organ development. It was shown that in the cavernous body of penis, aging was associated with the increased amount and thickening of collagen and argyrophilic fibers, decreased content and thinning of elastic fibers, and the reduced amount of smooth muscle cells (SMC). The average area of fibroblast and SMC nucleolus was not different in both groups studied. The average area of endotheliocyte nucleolus was equal to 1.9+/-0.9 microm2 in group II, being lower than that one in group I, in which this index was equal to 2.1+/-0.9 microm2. No differences in the content of type III and IV collagen were found between the study groups. Age-associated decrease in the average area of endothelial cell nucleolus in the cavernous bodies may reflect the reduction of the activity of these cells and may indicate the development of endothelial dysfunction, which is one of the most important steps in the morphogenesis of age-related male erectile dysfunction.
Morfologiia (Saint Petersburg, Russia) 01/2011; 140(4):42-5.