Long-term therapeutic effect of cell therapy on improvement in erectile function in a rat model with pelvic neurovascular injury

Xin Gu, Hua Shi, Ethan Matz, Liren Zhong, Ting Long, Cara Clouse, Wei Li, Dong Chen, Hyun Chul Chung, Sean Murphy, James Yoo, Guiting Lin, Tom Lue, Anthony Atala, John Jackson, Yuanyuan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the long-term therapeutic effect amongst three human cell types on erectile function recovery in a rat model of dual neurovascular-injury erectile dysfunction (NVED). Materials and methods: A dual NVED model was established in athymic rats by crushing the bilateral cavernous nerves and ligating the bilateral internal pudendal neurovascular bundles. At the time of defect creation, three different types of human cell populations (2.5 × 106 cells/0.2 mL: umbilical vein endothelial cells, adipose-derived stem cells, and amniotic fluid-derived stem cells) were injected intracavernously into the penile tissue. Saline injection (0.2 mL) served as a control group. Erectile function and histomorphological analyses of penile tissues were assessed 12 weeks after defect creation and cell or saline injection. Results: The ratio of intracavernous pressure to mean arterial pressure (functional indicator) was significantly higher in the cell therapy groups compared to the saline-injected control group (P < 0.05). Immunofluorescence staining showed more cells expressing biomarkers of endothelial, smooth muscle, and nerve cells within the penile tissue in the cell therapy groups when compared to the control group. Conclusions: Cell therapy enhanced erectile function and ameliorated the histological changes 12 weeks after pelvic neurovascular injury in vivo, indicating that cell therapy may improve the long-term outcomes in neurogenic, myogenic and vascular tissue regeneration in the treatment of NVED.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
JournalBJU International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the following for technical support: Douglas Shankle, Anne Young, Melissa Ayers. This work was supported by the Army, Navy, NIH, Air Force, VA and Health Affairs to support the AFIRM II effort, under Award No. W81XWH-13-2-0052. The USA Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, 820 Chandler Street, Fort Detrick, MD 21702-5014, USA is the awarding and administering acquisition office. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the Department of Defense.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors BJU International © 2018 BJU International Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Urology


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