Adenosine is a signaling nucleoside that modulates different aspects of male sexual function such as sperm capacitation, penile erection and contractility of male sexual accessory organs. Adenosine A1 receptors (A1R) are widely expressed in brain and spinal cord regions implicated in the modulation of ejaculatory reflex and, in the brain, A1R activation regulate the release of dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin, the three key endogenous compounds controlling the physiological events during ejaculation. In addition, the synthesis of adenosine in the spinal cord is increased by compounds that control the functioning of the spinal cord generator of ejaculation. Although these functional, anatomical and neurochemical evidences suggest a regulatory role for the A1R on ejaculation reflex no studies investigated the role of A1R on ejaculation. This study will investigate the role of adenosine A1R on ejaculation through a pharmacological analysis of selective A1R ligands effects on different in vitro and in vivo models of ejaculation reflex in rats, as well as by evaluating the A1R expression in lumbar spinothalamic neurons. In addition to increase our knowledge on the endogenous substances modulating the ejaculation reflex our results will contribute to the understanding the effects of drugs influencing the adenosinergic system on male sexual function/dysfunction. Furthermore, since the inhibition of seminal emission has been suggested as a target to development of a male contraceptive pill, our results will contribute to the evaluation of A1R modulation as a possible target for male contraception.
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