Int Neurourol J.  2014 Jun;18(2):58-62.

Clinical Neuroanatomy and Neurotransmitter-Mediated Regulation of Penile Erection

  • 1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Biomedical Science Institution, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Inje University Haeundae Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea.
  • 3Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.


Erectile dysfunction (ED) has an adverse impact on men's quality of life. Penile erection, which is regulated by nerves that are innervated into the erectile tissue, can be affected by functional or anatomical trauma of the perineal region, including specific structures of the penis, causing ED. Penile erection is neurologically controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to understand the neurogenic structure of the erectile tissue and the types of neurotransmitters involved in the penile erection process. Here, we highlight the basic clinical anatomy and erectile function of the penis. Understanding the clinical connotation of the relationship between penile erectile structure and function may provide fresh insights for identifying the main mechanisms involved in ED and help develop surgical techniques for the treatment of ED.


Penile erection; Neurotransmitter; Parasympathetic nervous system; Erectile dysfunction

MeSH Terms

Autonomic Nervous System
Erectile Dysfunction
Neurotransmitter Agents
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Penile Erection*
Quality of Life
Neurotransmitter Agents
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