Evidence for centrally initiated genital vasocongestive engorgement in the female rat: Findings from a new model of female sexual arousal response

R. K.S. Beharry, T. M. Hale, E. A.A. Wilson, J. P.W. Heaton, M. A. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: In spite of rapidly growing interest, few research tools have been developed to study female sexual dysfunction. Using the D1/D2 agonist, apomorphine (APO), our objective was to develop a new model of the sexual arousal response in female rats based on one previously established for the male condition. Methods: APO (80 μg/kg s.c.) was given during proestrus (P), estrus (E), metestrus (M), early diestrus (DI) and late diestrus (DII), and in ovariectomized (OVX) female Wistar rats. APO-induced behavioral and genital responses were characterized (30 min) using video monitoring. Results: APO-induced reproducible, periodic morphological changes in the external genitalia. The onset, timing and duration of these female APO responses were consistent with genital vasocongestive arousal (GVA) responses in males (ie erections). APO-induced GVAs occurred throughout the estrous cycle, peaking in E (1.4 + 1.21 overall; 0.9 + 0.64 in DII; 1.8 + 1.66 in E) and were markedly diminished by ovariectomy (OVX, 0.4 + 0.51). Conclusion: APO induced a reproducible sexual arousal response in female rats involving obvious genital vasocongestive engorgement. Further, the findings demonstrate that the APO-induced genital arousal responses are hormonally regulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Impotence Research
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Apomorphine
  • Female sexual arousal
  • Female sexual dysfunction
  • Genital vasocongestive arousal
  • Hormones
  • Ovariectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Evidence for centrally initiated genital vasocongestive engorgement in the female rat: Findings from a new model of female sexual arousal response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this