Objective/Background: Erectile dysfunction, a male sexual dysfunction generally develops due to impairment of relaxation of penile smooth muscles and arteries. Inhibitors of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) enzyme like in sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil etc. are in clinical use for the management of erectile dysfunction. Ongoing research focuses on development of potent medicine with fewer side effects. Objective of this article is to discuss and demonstrate procedures available to screen new compounds for the management of erectile dysfunction. Methodology: Many animal models (mice, rat, cat, rabbit, dog etc.) are available to screen new chemical compounds for increasing erectile function. In vitro (using isolated corpus cavernosum smooth muscle of penile tissue) and in vivo (measuring intracavernosal pressure) studies may be performed for screening new compounds. In this article, we discuss about two such screening procedures using rat as an animal model. Results and discussion: Compounds those relax isolated rat corpus cavernosum smooth muscles significantly in vitro may increase penile erection in humans. Similarly, the compounds those increase intracavernosal pressure by relaxing erectile smooth muscle and penile arteries in rat may increase erectile function in humans. Conclusion: Rat is a suitable model for screening new compounds to manage erectile dysfunction.
Key words: Corpus cavernosum smooth muscle, intracavernosal pressure, mean arterial pressure.