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World J Mens Health. 2017 Dec;35(3):196-204. English. Original Article.
Choi BR , Kim HK , Park JK .
Department of Urology, Research Institute of Clinical Medicine, Biomedical Research Institute, and Clinical Trial Center of Medical Device, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.
College of Pharmacy, Kyungsung University, Busan, Korea.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the relaxant effect of scoparone from Artemisia capillaris on rabbit penile corpus cavernosum smooth muscle (PCCSM) and to elucidate the mechanism of action of scoparone for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED).

Materials and Methods

PCCSM that had been precontracted with phenylephrine was treated with 3 Artemisia herbs (A. princeps, A. capillaris, and A. iwayomogi) and 3 fractions (n-hexane, ethyl acetate, and n-butanol) with different concentrations (0.1, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mg/mL). Four components (esculetin, scopoletin, capillarisin, and scoparone) isolated from A. capillaris were also evaluated. The PCCSM was preincubated with Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME) and 1H-[1,2,4] oxadiazolo [4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ). Cyclic nucleotides in the perfusate were measured by a radioimmunoassay. The interactions of scoparone with udenafil and rolipram were also evaluated.


A. capillaris extract relaxed PCCSM in a concentration-dependent manner. Scoparone had the highest relaxant effect on PCCSM among the 4 components (esculetin, scopoletin, capillarisin, and scoparone) isolated from the ethyl acetate fraction. The application of scoparone on PCCSM pretreated with L-NAME and ODQ led to significantly less relaxation. Scoparone also increased the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) levels in the perfusate in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, scoparone enhanced udenafil- and rolipram-induced relaxation of the PCCSM.


Scoparone relaxed the PCCSM mainly by activating the nitric oxide-cGMP signaling pathway, and it may be a new promising treatment for ED patients who do not completely respond to udenafil.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.