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Keywords:

  • erectile dysfunction;
  • endothelial-specific gene;
  • endothelial dysfunction;
  • gene therapy

Abstract

Erectile dysfunction (ED) commonly results from endothelial dysfunction of the systemic vasculature. Although phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors are effective at treating most cases of ED, they must be taken routinely and are ineffectual for a meaningful number of men. In recent years gene and stem cell-based therapies targeted at the penile endothelium have been gaining momentum in preclinical studies. These early studies reveal that gene and stem cell-based therapies may be both enduring and efficacious, and may eventually lead to a cure for ED. The following review will highlight our current understanding of endothelial-specific gene and stem cell-based therapies performed to date in a number of experimental animal models.