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Original Research

Open Access


  • Helen Zirnask1,2
  • Pasi Pöllanen2,4,5,6
  • Siim Suutre1
  • Marianne Kuuslahti2
  • Andres Kotsar3,7
  • Tomi Pakarainen3
  • Kersti Kokk1,2,8

1Department of Anatomy, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

2Department of Anatomy, Institute of Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

3Department of Urology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland

4Administration, CAREA, Kotka, Finland

5Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

6Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

7Department of Urology, Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, Estonia

8Department of Anatomy, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

DOI: 10.22374/jomh.v15i4.145 Vol.15,Issue 4,November 2019 pp.12-17

Published: 01 November 2019

*Corresponding Author(s): Helen Zirnask E-mail:

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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 hor-mone (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 super-ficial 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 lutein-izing 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.


cAMP; corpus cavernosum penis; corpus spongiosum penis; CREB; erectile disturbances; luteinizing hormone

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Helen Zirnask,Pasi Pöllanen,Siim Suutre,Marianne Kuuslahti,Andres Kotsar,Tomi Pakarainen,Kersti Kokk. EXPRESSION OF cAMP AND CREB IN THE HUMAN PENIS . Journal of Men's Health. 2019. 15(4);12-17.


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