Department of Health and Life Sciences, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
Nitric oxide (NO) is the intracellular chemical responsible for initiating a penile erection. Despite conflicting clinical data, it continues to be publicized and promoted that orally administered l-arginine, the putative substrate for NO, enhances the erectile response presumably by stimulating NO production by the corporal tissues resulting in an increase in cGMP production. To shed light on this issue, an in vitro study was conducted to explore the effect of direct exogenous administration of l-arginine as well as its precursor and metabolite, l-citrulline, on the NO-cGMP pathway within the cavernosal smooth muscle (CSM) cell.