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Keywords:

  • Spinal Cord Injury;
  • Neuronal Restricted Precursors;
  • Glial Restricted Precursors;
  • Erectile Function;
  • Neurologic Erectile Dysfunction

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  Erectile dysfunction is common among patients with spinal cord injury (SCI).

Aim.  This study aims to investigate the recovery of penile erectile functions of the rats with spinal cord injury (SCI) following transplantation of endogenous neuronal precursors cell (neuronal restricted precursors [NRP]/glial restricted precursors [GRP]) into the injured area of spinal cord.

Methods.  Twenty-two rats were experimented in three groups. Group 1 (N = 6): Sham; Group 2 (N = 10): SCI + NRP/GRP transplanted in day 9 after operation; Group 3 (N = 6): SCI + culture medium transplanted in day 9 after operation.

Analysis of penile reflexes and cavernosal nerve stimulation studies were performed in day 28 after transplantation for each group. All rats in three groups were then sacrificed and the injured regions of spinal cords underwent histological investigation.

Main Outcome Measures.  These results show improvements to some extent in locomotor and erectile functions although these improvements are far from full functional recovery.

Results.  Cavernosal nerve stimulation resulted in significantly higher intracavernosal pressure in Group 3 (SCI) although there was no difference between Group 1 (sham) and Group 2 (SCI + NRP/GRP). Number of clusters was similar between groups. Number of erections was higher in Group 3 (SCI) than Groups 1 and 2, and number of cups was higher in Group 2 (SCI + NRP/GRP) than the other two groups. Number of flips was similar in Groups 1 and 2 but lower in Group 3. Number of long flips was highest in Group 1 and lowest in Group 3. The differences between groups were significant.

Conclusion.  This study emphasized the healing potential of NRP/GRP transplantation following experimental SCI. However, further experimental and clinical studies are required to advance this treatment modality. Temeltas G, Dagci T, Evren V, and Lekili M. Effects of neuronal and glial restricted precursor cells transplantation on erectile function after experimentally induced spinal cord injury. J Sex Med 2009;6:3265–3273.