Antisense and Short Hairpin RNA (shRNA) Constructs Targeting PIN (Protein Inhibitor of NOS) Ameliorate Aging-Related Erectile Dysfunction in the Rat

Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA, USA.
Journal of Sexual Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.15). 05/2007; 4(3):633-43. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2007.00459.x
Source: PubMed


Over-expression of penile neuronal nitric oxide synthase (PnNOS) from a plasmid ameliorates aging-related erectile dysfunction (ED), whereas over-expression of the protein inhibitor of NOS (PIN), that binds to nNOS, increases ED.
To improve this form of gene therapy for ED by comparing the electrical field response of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) for PIN with that of antisense PIN RNA.
Both shRNA and antisense RNA gene therapy vectors increased intracavernosal pressure in aged rats.
PIN small interfering RNA (siRNA), and plasmid constructs for cytomegalovirus promoter plasmid vector (pCMV-PIN), pCMV-PIN antisense RNA, pSilencer2.1-U6-PIN-shRNA; and pSilencer2.1-U6-randomer-shRNA were prepared and validated by transfection into HEK293 cells, determining the effects on PIN expression by Western blot. Plasmid constructs were then injected, followed by electroporation, into the penile corpora cavernosa of aged (20-month-old) Fisher 344 rats and, 1 month later, the erectile response was measured by intracavernosal pressure increase following electrical field stimulation (EFS) of the cavernosal nerve. PIN was estimated in penile tissue by Western blot and real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) measurements were conducted by competitive enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Immunohistofluorescence detected PIN in corporal tissue sections.
In cell culture, PIN siRNA and plasmid-expressed pU6-PIN-shRNA effectively reduced PIN expression from pCMV-PIN. pSilencer2.1-U6-PIN-shRNA corrected the impaired erectile response to EFS in aged rats and raised it above the value for young rats, more efficiently than pCMV-PIN antisense RNA. PIN mRNA expression in the penis was decreased by >70% by the shRNA but remained unaffected by the antisense RNA, whereas PIN protein expression was reduced in both cases, particularly in the dorsal nerve. PIN antisense increased cGMP concentration in treated tissue by twofold.
pSilencer2.1-U6-PIN-shRNA gene therapy was more effective than the antisense PIN mRNA in ameliorating ED in the aged rat, thereby suggesting that PIN is indeed a physiological inhibitor of nNOS and nitrergic neurotransmission in the penis.

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    • "Quantitative image analysis (QIA) was performed by computerized densitometry using the ImageProPlus 5.1.1 program (Media Cybernetics, Silver Spring, MD), coupled to an Olympus BHS microscope equipped with an Spot RT color digital camera (20–23). For Masson, α-SMA, Calponin and Oil Red O staining, 40x magnification pictures were taken comprising the whole cross section of the penile shaft. "
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    ABSTRACT: Bisphenol A (BPA), a suspected reproductive biohazard and endocrine disruptor, released from plastics is associated with ED in occupationally exposed workers. However, in rats, despite the induction of hypogonadism, apoptosis of the penile corporal smooth muscle (SM), fat infiltration into the cavernosal tissue and changes in global gene expression with the intraperitoneal administration of high dose BPA, ED was not observed. We investigated whether BPA administered orally rather than intraperitoneally to rats for longer periods and lower doses will lead to ED. Main outcome measures are ED, histological, and biochemical markers in rat penile tissues. In all, 2.5-month-old rats were given drinking water daily without and with BPA at 1 and 0.1 mg kg(-1) per day. Two months later, erectile function was determined by cavernosometry and electrical field stimulation (EFS) and serum levels of testosterone (T), estradiol (E2) and BPA were measured. Penile tissue sections were assayed by Masson (SM/collagen), Oil Red O (fat), terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) (apoptosis), immunohistochemistry for Oct4 (stem cells), and α-SM actin/calponin (SM and myofibroblasts), applying quantitative image analysis. Other markers were assayed by western blotting. DNA microarrays/microRNA (miR) assays defined transcription profiles. Orally administered BPA did not affect body weight, but (1) decreased serum T and E2; (2) reduced the EFS response and increased the drop rate; (3) increased within the corporal tissue the presence of fat, myofibroblasts and apoptosis; (4) lowered the contents of SM and stem cells, but not nerve terminals; and (5) caused alterations in the transcriptional profiles for both mRNA and miRs within the penile shaft. Long-term exposure of rats to oral BPA caused a moderate corporal veno-occlusive dysfunction (CVOD), possibly due to alterations within the corporal tissue that pose gene transcriptional changes related to inflammation, fibrosis and epithelial/mesenchymal transition (EMT).International Journal of Impotence Research advance online publication, 5 December 2013; doi:10.1038/ijir.2013.37.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · International journal of impotence research
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    • "While these results may bring into question a role for nNOS inhibition by direct PIN binding, functional experiments help establish the significance of PIN in nNOS regulation (Magee et al, 2003). Specifically, overexpression of PIN leads to a reduced erectile response to electrical field stimulation while reduction of PIN levels by treatment with anti-sense or shRNA PIN constructs allowed for correction of age related ED (Magee et al, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common men's health problem characterized by the consistent inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Basic science research on erectile physiology has been devoted to investigating the pathogenesis of ED and has led to the conclusion that ED is predominately a disease of vascular origin, neurogenic dysfunction, or both. The constitutive forms of nitric oxide synthase (NOS, endothelial [eNOS] and neuronal [nNOS]) are important enzymes involved in the production of nitric oxide (NO) and thus regulate penile vascular homeostasis. Given the effect of endothelial- and neuronal-derived NO in penile vascular biology, a great deal of research over the past decade has focused on the role of NO synthesis from the endothelium and nitrergic nerve terminal in normal erectile physiology, as well as in disease states. Loss of the functional integrity of the endothelium and subsequent endothelial dysfunction plays an integral role in the occurrence of ED. Therefore, molecular mechanisms involved in dysregulation of these NOS isoforms in the development of ED are essential to discovering the pathogenesis of ED in various disease states. This communication reviews the role of eNOS and nNOS in erectile physiology and discusses the alterations in eNOS and nNOS via posttranslation modification in various vascular diseases of the penis.
    Preview · Article · May 2009 · Journal of Andrology
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether ageing-related changes in the penile corpora cavernosa, namely corporal veno-occlusive dysfunction (CVOD), loss of smooth muscle cells (SMCs), and excessive collagen deposition, can be ameliorated by the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) agonist pioglitazone, in a rat model of ageing as we have shown in a rat model of type 2 diabetes. Male Fischer 344 rats (16-18 months old) were fed chow containing 0%, 0.001% or 0.02% pioglitazone for 2 or 4.5 months, using 5 month old rats as 'young' controls. Functional changes were determined by dynamic-infusion cavernosometry (DIC). Histological changes were assessed by histochemistry and immunohistochemistry followed by quantitative image analysis and/or quantitative Western blot. Reactive oxygen species were estimated in blood. Pioglitazone at both doses reduced the high DIC 'drop rate' present in the untreated aged groups to the level seen in the young rats. The papaverine response was increased to young control levels by short-term high-dose pioglitazone and the long-term low-dose treatment, but not by the short-term low-dose treatment. Pioglitazone at all doses and durations of treatment failed to reverse the decreased corporal SMC/collagen ratio and SMC content, oxidative stress, or the elevated contents of collagen, or transforming growth factor beta1, seen in the aged penis, but did reduce the collagen III/I ratio, and at a high dose increased apoptosis. Both treatments inhibited the Rho-kinase system, by increasing Src homology region 2-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase and reducing Vav. PPARgamma were detected in corporal SMCs. Pioglitazone ameliorated ageing-related CVOD, possibly by a PPARgamma-mediated inhibition of Rho-kinase and not by a protective effect on the corporal smooth muscle.
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