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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2019, Article ID 1782953, 12 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/1782953
Research Article

Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. Leaf Extract Improves Erectile Dysfunction in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats by Protecting Endothelial Function and Ameliorating Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis Function

1Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, China
2Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
3Post-Doctoral Scientific Research Center, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
4Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China
5Department of Urology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200065, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Liang Le; moc.361@ycxfll and Ke-ping Hu; nc.ca.dalpmi@uhpk

Received 7 March 2019; Accepted 3 July 2019; Published 29 July 2019

Academic Editor: Olumayokun A. Olajide

Copyright © 2019 Hui Fu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a major complication of diabetes mellitus. Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. is used as a traditional medicine for male impotence, but no systematic study has examined its effect on diabetes-associated ED. In this study, we investigated the effects of Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. leaf extract (EULE) on restoring erectile function in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats model. After 16 weeks of treatment, EULE administration had significantly increased intracavernosal pressure, nitric oxide (NO) levels, and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) concentrations. Serum superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) levels were markedly higher and serum malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were lower in the EULE-treated groups than in the diabetic model group. EULE restored NO biosynthesis by significantly increasing protein kinase B (Akt) and endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) activation. Furthermore, EULE is likely to benefit the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, as it increased gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and testosterone (T) concentrations as well as hormone receptors Gnrhr, Fshr, and Lhr expression levels. Hence, EULE attenuates oxidative stress, increases NO production, and activates the Akt-eNOS pathway to restore endothelial function; moreover, EULE enhances the HPG axis to improve erectile function. These results suggest that EULE may represent a new therapeutic avenue for diabetes-associated ED.