The compound, called C6' offered mice-with and without sickle cell disease-relief by normalizing nitric oxide levels in penile blood.
In addition to helping men with priapism, this action of this compound also provides insight for future research related to vascular and circulatory disorders such as hypertension.
"Its application may extend beyond erection disorders and include other health conditions involving abnormal circulation and blood flow," she said.
Scientists analyzed two groups of experimental mice. The first group had both endothelial and neuronal nitric oxide synthase knocked out. The second group of mice had sickle cell disease.
In both groups of mice, nitric oxide signaling was known to be abnormal and resulted in abnormal erections.
When these mice were given C6' treatment, their molecular abnormalities were reduced and erectile functioning returned to levels similar to normal mice.
The research is published online in The FASEB Journal.
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