J Korean Androl Soc.  1997 Dec;15(2):91-96.

Effects of cGMP on Smooth Muscle alpha-Actin Expression in Cultured Human Corporal Smooth Muscle Cells

  • 1Department of Urology, Seoul National University College of Medicine,Seoul, Korea.


PURPOSE: Knowledge of the mechanisms controlling intracellular signal propagation in smooth muscle is of major importance in understanding erectile function and dysfunction. We examined the effects of cGMP on alpha-actin expression in human corpus cavernosum cells.
Primary culture was initiated by incubation of surgical specimens in DMEM supplemented with 20% FCS(high serum) and antibiotics in 5% CO2 at 37degrees C. Subcultures were carried out in DMEM supplemented with 10% PCS (low serum) and antibiotics. The cultured cells were characterized morphologically and immunocytochemically. The cells were then treated with dBcGMP(0, 0.1, or 1 mM), and Western blotting was carried out to examine the expression of smooth muscle alpha-actin.
Cells exhibited the typical characteristics of smooth muscle cells, with hill-and-valley morphology. Smooth-muscle alpha-actin and desmin were abundant. These characteristics were not changed by freezing and thawing. The dBcGMP treatment did not alter the expression of smooth-muscle alpha-actin in either high-serum or low-serum conditions.
Cultured cells can be exploited to elucidate the role of the corpus cavernosal smooth muscle in the production of penile erection and contribute to the development of therapeutic agents.

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