Effects of Intravenous Injection of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells in a Rat Model of Radiation Therapy-Induced Erectile Dysfunction

Authors

  • Xuefeng Qiu MD,

    1. Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
    2. Department of Urology, Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing University, School of Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
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  • Jacqueline Villalta MD,

    1. Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
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  • Ludovic Ferretti MD,

    1. Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
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  • Thomas M. Fandel MD,

    1. Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
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  • Maarten Albersen MD,

    1. Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
    2. Laboratory of Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
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  • Guiting Lin MD,

    1. Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
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  • Yutian Dai MD,

    1. Department of Urology, Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing University, School of Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
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  • Tom F. Lue MD,

    1. Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
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  • Ching-Shwun Lin PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
      Ching-Shwun Lin, PhD, Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0738, USA. Tel: (415) 476-3800; Fax: (415) 476-3803; E-mail: clin@urology.ucsf.edu
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Ching-Shwun Lin, PhD, Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0738, USA. Tel: (415) 476-3800; Fax: (415) 476-3803; E-mail: clin@urology.ucsf.edu

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  Radiation therapy (RT) for prostate cancer is frequently associated with posttreatment erectile dysfunction (ED).

Aim.  To investigate whether injection of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) can ameliorate RT-associated ED.

Methods.  Thirty male rats were divided into three groups. The control + phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) group received tail-vein injection of PBS. The radiation + PBS group received radiation over the prostate and tail-vein injection of PBS. The radiation + ADSC group received radiation over the prostate and tail-vein injection of ADSCs, which were labeled with 5-ethynyl-2-deoxyuridine (EdU). Seventeen weeks later, erectile function was evaluated by intracavernous pressure (ICP) in response to electrostimulation of cavernous nerves (CNs). Penile tissue and major pelvic ganglia (MPG) were examined by immunofluorescence (IF) and EdU staining.

Main Outcome Measures.  Erectile function was measured by ICP. Protein expression was examined by IF, followed by image analysis and quantification.

Results.  Radiation over the prostate caused a significant decrease in erectile function and in the expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in penis and MPG. Cavernous smooth muscle (CSM) but not endothelial content was also reduced. Injection of ADSCs significantly restored erectile function, nNOS expression, and CSM content in the irradiated rats. EdU-positive cells were visible in MPG.

Conclusions.  Radiation appears to cause ED via CN injury. ADSC injection can restore erectile function via CN regeneration. Qiu X, Villalta J, Ferretti L, Fandel TM, Albersen M, Lin G, Dai Y, Lue TF, and Lin C-S. Effects of intravenous injection of adipose-derived stem cells in a rat model of radiation therapy-induced erectile dysfunction. J Sex Med 2012;9:1851–1858.

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