Experimental Models for the Study of Female and Male Sexual Function

Francois Giuliano, James Pfaus, Srilatha Balasubramanian, Petter Hedlund, Shin ichi Hisasue, Lesley Marson, Kim Wallen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Significant progress has been made in the understanding of physiological and pharmacological mechanisms of human sexual functioning through preclinical research in animal models. Aim: To provide an evidence-based documentation of the experimental models evaluating male and female sexual function for useful clinical translation. Methods: Consensus discussion over the past 18 months leading to summarized views of seven experts from six countries. Main Outcome Measure: Report was based on the critical analysis of scientific information available in literature and subcommittee presentations, discussions, and exchanges of ideas and feedback. Results: Fundamental research in animal models has led to considerable understanding of the physiological mechanisms underlying desire, arousal, genital, and other sexual responses and the design of rational pharmacological treatments for certain sexual dysfunctions in the male and female. Tissue and cellular in vitro systems have provided critical information on the in vivo interactions and modulations in the presence and absence of chemical, biological, vascular, neurologic, endocrine, and genetic inputs. The animal models seem indispensable for elucidating the biophysiological and etiopathological aspects of male and female sexual disorders. Conclusions: Useful insights into the human experience have been derived from basic research in ways that are far more difficult to obtain in humans, both scientifically and ethically. The animal model with a good predictive value can be used as a successful preclinical tool so long as the functional end points are homologous or analogous. The key issue is whether further evaluations are warranted to extrapolate the results in a clinical setting. Giuliano F, Pfaus J, Balasubramanian S, Hedlund P, Hisasue S, Marson L, and Wallen K. Experimental models for the study of female and male sexual function. J Sex Med 2010;7:2970-2995.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2970-2995
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


  • Animal models
  • Behavioral studies
  • Female sexual function
  • In vitro studies
  • In vivo studies
  • Male sexual function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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