Objectives: To determine whether diet-induced diabetes mellitus (DM) in mice would reproduce the major features of human erectile dysfunction (ED) because DM is a significant risk factor in the development of ED. Methods: In total, 150 C57BL6 (bl6) mice were divided into six groups of 25 mice each. Of these 150 mice, 125 were fed a high-fat (45% of total calories) diet for the final 4 (group 2), 8 (group 3), 12 (group 4), 16 (group 5), or 22 (group 6) weeks. Group 1 was fed a normal diet. The mice were 22 to 25 weeks old at study termination. The corporal tissues were harvested and studied for endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent vasoreactivity, endothelial and smooth muscle cell content by immunohistochemistry, nitric oxide synthase expression by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-diaphorase staining, and apoptosis by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase biotin-d-UTP nick-end labeling staining. Results: The blood glucose levels were greater in groups 2 to 6 compared with those in group 1. The vasoreactivity, endothelial cell content, and smooth muscle/collagen ratio were lower and apoptosis were greater in the DM mice (P = 0.0001, P = 0.10, P = 0.0002, P <0.001, and P <0.001, respectively). Significantly decreased nitric oxide synthase expression and significantly increased apoptosis (P <0.0001 each) was found in the high-fat diet mice. Conclusions: Corporal tissue from mice with diet-induced DM demonstrated many of the major functional, structural, and biochemical changes found in humans with ED. This model should serve as a valuable tool for advancing our understanding of the role DM plays in the pathogenesis of ED.
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