Clinically, a 59% prevalence of impotence was reported among diabetic male patients. Neurological, vascular, endocrinologic and psychological factors are probably involved. Previous reports with the rat model found deterioration of sexual behavior and reproductive function caused by streptozotocin (STZ)- induced diabetes. The purpose of the present study was to develop the dark-cycle video recording methodology for the observation of rat sexual activities and to study the effect of STZ-induced diabetes on sexual performances of the rat. Adult male Wistar rats were rendered diabetic with intraperitoneal injection of STZ (60 mg/kg body weight). In the 4th week a diabetic rat or a control rat was caged with an adult ovariectomized female rat during the dark cycle. The female had been brought into behavioral estrus with intramuscular injection of 0.1 mg estradiol benzoate 3 days before and 1.0 mg progesterone 3 h before testing. Infrared-light-illuminated video recording was performed to evaluate the sexual performances. The mounting latency and frequency, intromission latency and frequency, the hit rate as well as the post-ejaculatory period of the diabetic rats were significantly deteriorated when compared with the controls (p < 0.05). However, the ejaculatory latency showed no significant difference between the two groups (p > 0.05). In conclusion, it has been demonstrated that with this methodology, behavioral studies on nocturnal animals like the rat can be carried out conveniently. It was shown that the sexual arousal mechanism and copulation-ejaculatory mechanism were both depressed in STZ-induced diabetic rats. The same study model can be used for further pathophysiological and pharmacological researches on the sexual behaviors of diabetic rats.
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