Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection of the penis for satisfactory sexual intercourse. ED is often associated with risk factors for developing cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and / or metabolic diseases such as diabetes and dyslipidemia. Hypertension has become a growing public health problem, it is an important risk factor for the onset of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and renal diseases. Furthermore, ED occurs twice as frequently in patients with hypertension compared to normotensive patients. Vascular damage occur in hypertension, in part due to increased inflammatory mediators. Similarly, several studies have shown that increased expression of inflammatory mediators is closely linked to the development of ED. Both, the ED and hypertension are strongly influenced by the increased expression of endothelin-1 (ET-1), due to its contractile and pro-inflammatory effects. The NLRP3 receptor is the most studied member of the family inflammasome a multiprotein complex of the innate immune system triggers activation of caspase-1 and maturation of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1 beta (IL-l²). The increase in receptor activity NLRP3 promotes vascular disorders, cardiac and renal hypertrophy, and increase in blood pressure. However, it is still unknown whether the NLRP3 contributes to the proinflammatory action of ET-1. Hypothesis: The NLRP3 mediates pro-inflammatory effects of ET-1 model of hypertension DOCA / salt, which contributes to the genesis of ED in mice.
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