IMR Press / JOMH / Volume 15 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.22374/jomh.v15i4.145

Journal of Men’s Health (JOMH) is published by IMR Press from Volume 17 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Dougmar Publishing Group.

Original Research


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1 Department of Anatomy, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
2 Department of Anatomy, Institute of Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
3 Department of Urology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
4 Administration, CAREA, Kotka, Finland
5 Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
6 Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
7 Department of Urology, Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, Estonia
8 Department of Anatomy, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

J. Mens. Health 2019, 15(4), 12–17;
Submitted: 12 April 2019 | Accepted: 5 November 2019 | Published: 25 November 2019

The aim of this study is to investigate the expression of adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) and cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) in the human penis as it is known that luteinizing hormone (LH) regulates cellular function mostly through the cAMP signaling pathway and LH receptors are expressed by the penile endothelium. Penile tissue was obtained from three patients during partial or total penectomy due to a rectal cancer with secondary penile metastasis or squamous cell carcinoma of the penis. Immunohistochemistry was used for the detection of cAMP and CREB. Positive immunoreaction for cAMP was present in most cells of superficial, intermedial, and basal layer of urethral epithelium and in fibroblast-like cells (FLC) of interstitial tissue and endothelial cells (EC) of cavernous spaces in corpus spongiosum penis. Positive staining for cAMP was also visible in EC of cavernous spaces and in FLC of interstitial tissue in corpus cavernosum penis. Positive immunoreaction for CREB was present in the superficial and intermedial layer of urethral epithelium, and some positive immunoreaction was also noticed in EC of cavernous spaces and in FLC of interstitial tissue in corpus spongiosum penis. Positive staining was also visible in the EC of cavernous spaces and in fibroplast-like cells of the interstitial tissue in the corpus cavernosum penis. Our results show the presence of cAMP and CREB in the human penis. While LH exerts its actions through cAMP signaling system and our previous studies have shown the expression of luteinizing hormone/choriogonadotropin (LHCG) receptor in the mouse and human penis, this finding may support the hypothesis that LH could affect the spongious and cavernous tissue of the human penis and thereby influence the development of erectile dysfunction among aging men.

corpus cavernosum penis
corpus spongiosum penis
erectile disturbances
luteinizing hormone
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