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

ntroduction.  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.


* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 06-27-2014