Correction of diabetic erectile dysfunction with adipose derived stem cells modified with the vascular endothelial growth factor gene in a rodent diabetic model.
ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine whether adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) expressing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene can improve endothelial function, recover the impaired VEGF signaling pathway and enhance smooth muscle contents in a rat diabetic erectile dysfunction (DED) model. DED rats were induced via intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (40 mg/kg), and then screened by apomorphine (100 µg/kg). Five groups were used (n?=?12/group)-Group 1 (G1): intracavernous injection of lentivirus-VEGF; G2: ADSCs injection; G3: VEGF-expressing ADSCs injection; G4: Phosphate buffered saline injection; G1-G4 were DED rats; G5: normal rats. The mean arterial pressure (MAP) and intracavernosal pressure (ICP) were measured at days 7 and 28 after the injections. The components of the VEGF system, endothelial, smooth muscle, pericytes markers in cavernoursal tissue were assessed. On day 28 after injection, the group with intracavernosum injection of ADSCs expressing VEGF displayed more efficiently and significantly raised ICP and ICP/MAP (p<0.01) than those with ADSCs or lentivirus-VEGF injection. Western blot and immunofluorescent analysis demonstrated that improved erectile function by ADSCs-VEGF was associated with increased expression of endothelial markers (VEGF, VEGF R1, VEGF R2, eNOS, CD31 and vWF), smooth muscle markers (a-actin and smoothelin), and pericyte markers (CD146 and NG2). ADSCs expressing VEGF produced a therapeutic effect and restored erectile function in diabetic rats by enhancing VEGF-stimulated endothelial function and increasing the contents of smooth muscle and pericytes.
Project description:<h4>Aim</h4>The aim of this study was to determine the possibility of improving erectile dysfunction using cell therapy with either human urine-derived stem cells (USCs) or USCs genetically-modified with FGF2 in a type 2 diabetic rat model.<h4>Methods</h4>Human USCs were collected from 3 healthy donors. USCs were transfected with FGF2 (USCs-FGF2). Sixty-five SD male rats were divided into five groups (G). A control group of normal rats (G1, n?=?10), and four other test groups of type 2 diabetic erectile dysfunction rats: PBS as a negative control (G2, n?=?10), USCs (G3, n?=?15), lentivirus-FGF2 (G4, n?=?15), and USCs-FGF2 (G5, n?=?15). Diabetes was induced in the rats via a high fat diet for 28 days and a subsequent intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (35 mg/kg). Erectile dysfunction was screened with apomorphine (100 ?g/kg). Cell injections in the test groups (G2-G5) occurred directly into the corpora cavernosa. The implanted cells were tracked at 7 days (n?=?5 animals/G) and 28 days (n?=?10 animals/G) post injection. Mean arterial pressure (MAP), intracavernosal pressure (ICP), expression of endothelial markers (CD31, VEGF and eNOS), smooth muscle markers (desmin and smoothelin), histological changes and erectile function were assessed for each group.<h4>Results</h4>USCs expressed mesenchymal stem cell markers, and secreted a number of proangiogenic growth factors. USCs expressed endothelial cell markers (CD31 and vWF) after transfection with FGF2. Implanted USCs or USCs-FGF2 displayed a significantly raised ICP and ICP/MAP ratio (p<0.01) 28 days after intracavernous injection. Although few cell were detected within the implanted sites, histological and western blot analysis demonstrated an increased expression of endothelial and smooth muscle markers within the cavernous tissue following USC or USC-FGF2 injection.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The paracrine effect of USCs or USCs-FGF2 induced improvement of erectile function in type 2 diabetic rats by recruiting resident cells and increasing the endothelial expression and contents of smooth muscle.
Project description:The abilities of intracavernous injection of autologous stromal vascular fraction (SVF) and adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) to facilitate recovery of erectile function in a rat model of cavernous nerve (CN) injury were compared. Forty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: sham and control groups (intracavernous injection of phosphate-buffered saline), SVF group (intracavernous injection of SVF), and ADSC group (intracavernous injection of ADSCs). Rats in the latter three groups underwent bilateral CN injury prior to injection. The evaluation of erectile function and histomorphometric studies were performed 4 weeks after injection. The ratio of maximal intracavernous pressure to mean arterial pressure was significantly lower in the control group than in the sham group (0.18 vs. 0.56, p < .001). Intracavernous injection of SVF (0.36, p = .035) significantly improved erectile function compared with that in the control group, whereas the ADSC group (0.35, p = .052) showed marginally significant improvement. The smooth muscle/collagen ratio, smooth muscle content, number of neuronal nitric-oxide synthase-positive nerve fibers, and expression of von Willebrand factor were significantly higher in the SVF and ADSC groups than in the control group. Expression of endothelial nitric-oxide synthase was significantly increased in the SVF group. The increases in the smooth muscle/collagen ratio and von Willebrand factor expression were larger in the SVF group than in the ADSC group. Intracavernous injection of SVF or ADSCs was equally effective in recovering penile erection in a rat model of CN injury.
Project description:The present study was aimed to examine whether icariin, a traditional Chinese medicine, could improve therapeutic effects of adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) for diabetes-associated erectile dysfunction (DMED). DMED were induced in rats by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin and confirmed by erectile function measurement. Then, rats of diabetic ED were randomly divided to receive the treatment of saline, ADSCs, icariin or ADSCs combined with icariin respectively. Compared with the treatment by ADSCs or icariin alone, intracavernosum injection of ADSCs combined with the following daily gastric gavage of icariin significantly augmented the value of ICP and ICP/MAP (p<0.01). Meanwhile, the survival of transplanted ADSCs was much improved due to the application of icariin. Similarly, immunofluorescent staining analysis demonstrated that the improved erectile tissue structure by combination of ADSCs and icariin was significantly associated with the increased expression of endothelial markers (vWF) (p<0.01) and smooth muscle markers (?-SMA) (p<0.01). Furthermore, the structure changes in corpus cavernosum were further confirmed by the Masson's trichrome staining. To explore the possible mechanism underlying icariin-enhanced therapeutic efficacy of MSCs, we employed an in vitro testing system by introducing H2O2 to imitate oxidative stress condition considering the oxidative environment faced by engrafted ADSCs and anti-oxidative capacity of icariin. In vitro, we found that the addition of icariin considerably reduced the apoptosis of ADSCs, and attenuated the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), the superoxidase dismutase (SOD) activity and the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Subsequently, we examined the expression of apoptosis-related proteins and explored the potential signaling pathway through which icariin promoted the survival of ADSCs against oxidative stress. It was demonstrated that icariin significantly inhibited the upregulation of apoptosis-related proteins under oxidative condition, including Bax and cleaved caspase-3, while promoted the expression of anti-apoptotic factor BCL2. These effects were accompanied with the activation of signal molecules, PI3K/Akt and STAT3. The further signal protein inhibition assays exhibited that the suppression of STAT3 abrogated the icariin-mediated anti-apoptotic effects observed above, while did not influence the expression of PI3K/Akt. However, PI3K inhibition could abrogate icariin-mediated STAT3 activation and achieved a similar effect as STAT3 inhibition. Our results suggested that icariin was an effective adjuvant for enhancing ADSC-based therapy of DMEM, which may be ascribed to their protection of ADSCs against oxidative stress via the regulation of PI3K/Akt-STAT3 signal pathway.
Project description:The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of adipose?derived mesenchymal stem cell (ADSC) and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (BMSC) transplantation into the corpora cavernosa of diabetic rats with erectile function. ADSCs and BMSCs were isolated and identified by flow cytometry. Rats with streptozocin?induced diabetes were screened using apomorphine to obtain a rat model of diabetic erectile dysfunction, followed by transplantation of ADSCs and BMSCs into the corpora cavernosa. Two weeks later, the rats were again injected with apomorphine, the intracavernous pressure (ICP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) of the penile tissue were measured, and the corpus cavernosum tissues were harvested. Angiogenic endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression was detected by western blotting and immunofluorescence analysis. The blood vessels in the corpus cavernosum were observed following hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, and the expression of collagen was detected by Sirius Red staining. The cellular ultrastructure was examined by transmission electron microscopy. Intracavernous injection of ADSCs significantly increased ICP and ICP/MAP. Western blotting and immunofluorescence results revealed that ADSC treatment improved the expression of eNOS in the penile tissue of diabetic rats. The H&E staining results demonstrated that ADSC treatment promoted revascularization of the corpus cavernosum, and the results of Sirius Red staining revealed that ADSC treatment reduced penile collagen in diabetic rats. Transmission electron microscopy examination revealed that the ultrastructure of the tissues in the ADSC?treated group was more complete compared with that in the untreated diabetic model group. In conclusion, ADSCs were found to be more effective compared with BMSCs in treating diabetes?related erectile dysfunction.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Erectile dysfunction is a major complication of diabetes mellitus. Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) have attracted much attention as a promising tool for the treatment of diabetes mellitus-induced erectile dysfunction (DMED). Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) plays an important role in protecting penile tissues from fibrosis. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of ADSCs overexpressing iNOS on DMED in rats.<h4>Methods</h4>ADSCs were isolated and infected with adenovirus overexpressing iNOS (named as ADSCs-iNOS). The expression of iNOS was detected using western blot analysis and real-time PCR. Rats were randomly assigned into five groups: control group, DMED group, ADSCs group, ADSCs-EGFP group and ADSCs-iNOS group. 5 × 10<sup>5</sup> cells were given once via the intracorporal route. Two weeks after treatment, erectile function was assessed by electrical stimulation of the cavernous nerve. Penile tissues were obtained and evaluated at histology level.<h4>Results</h4>We found that ADSCs-iNOS had significantly higher expression of iNOS at mRNA and protein levels and generated more nitric oxide (NO). ADSCs-iNOS reduced collagen I and collagen IV expression of corpus cavernosum smooth muscle cells (CCSMCs) in cell co-culture model. Transforming growth factor-?1 expression in CCSMCs reduced following co-culture with ADSCs-iNOS. Injection of ADSCs-iNOS significantly ameliorated DMED in rats and decreased collagen/smooth muscle cell ratio of penile tissues. Moreover, elevated NO and cyclic guanosine monophosphate concentrations were detected in penile tissues of ADSCs-iNOS group.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Taken together, ADSCs-iNOS significantly improved erectile function of DMED rats. The therapeutic effect may be achieved by increased NO generation and the suppression of collagen I and collagen IV expression in the CCSMCs to decrease penile fibrosis.
Project description:Stem cell therapy is a potentially promising option for erectile dysfunction; however, its risk of tumorigenicity is a clinical hurdle and the risk is positively related to the number of injected cells. Our previous study showed that nanotechnology improved adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC) therapy for erectile dysfunction of cavernous nerve injury (CNI) by attracting cells in the corpus cavernosum. These results indicated the possibility of using a reduced dosage of ADSCs for intracavernous injection. In this exploratory study, we used lower dosage (2 × 10<sup>5</sup> cells) of ADSCs for intracavernous injection (ICI) and the nanotechnology approach. Intracavernous pressure and mean arterial pressure were measured at day 28 to assess erectile function. The low-dose ADSC therapy group showed favorable treatment effects, and nanotechnology further improved these effects. In vivo imaging of ICI cells revealed that the fluorescein signals of NanoShuttle-bound ADSCs (NanoADSCs) were much stronger than those of ADSCs at days 0, 1, and 3. Both immunofluorescence and Western blot analysis showed a significant increase in smooth muscle, endothelium, and nerve tissue in the ADSC group compared to that in the CNI group; further improvement was achieved with assisted nanotechnology. These findings demonstrate that nanotechnology can be used to further improve the effect of small dosage of ADSCs to improve erectile function. Abundant NanoADSCs remain in the corpus cavernosum in vivo for at least 3 days. The mechanism of erectile function improvement may be related to the regeneration of the smooth muscle, endothelium, and nerve tissues.
Project description:Stem cell therapy is a novel method for the treatment of diabetic erectile dysfunction (ED). Many relative animal studies have been done to evaluate the efficacy of this therapy in rats.This meta-analysis was performed to compare the efficacy of different stem cell therapies, to evaluate the influential factors and to determine the optimal stem cell therapeutic strategy for diabetic ED.We searched the studies analyzing the efficacy of stem cell therapy for diabetic ED in rats published before September 30, 2015 in PubMed, Web of Science and EBSCO. A random effects meta-analysis was conducted to assess the outcomes of stem cell therapy. Subgroup analysis was also performed by separating these studies based on their different characteristics. Changes in the ratio of intracavernous pressure (ICP) to mean arterial pressure (MAP) and in the structure of the cavernous body were compared.10 studies with 302 rats were enrolled in this meta-analysis. Pooled analysis of these studies showed a beneficial effect of stem cell therapy in improving erectile function of diabetic rats (SMD 4.03, 95% CI = 3.22 to 4.84, P< 0.001). In the stem cell therapy group, both the smooth muscle and endothelium content were much more than those in control group. There was also significant increase in the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), the ratio of smooth muscle to collagen, as well as the secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Besides, apoptotic cells were reduced by stem cell treatment. The subgroup analysis indicated that modified stem cells were more effective than those without modification.Our results confirmed that stem cell therapy could apparently improve the erectile function of diabetic rats. Some specific modification, especially the gene modification with growth factors, could improve the efficacy of stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapy has potential to be an effective therapeutic strategy for diabetic ED.
Project description:Introduction.? Low-energy shockwave therapy (LESWT) has been shown to improve erectile function in patients suffering from diabetes mellitus (DM)-associated erectile dysfunction (ED). However, the underlying mechanism remains unknown. Aim.? The aim of this study is to investigate whether LESWT can ameliorate DM-associated ED in a rat model and examine the associated changes in the erectile tissues. Methods.? Newborn male rats were intraperitoneally injected with 5-ethynyl-2-deoxyuridine (EdU; 50?mg/kg) for the purpose of tracking endogenous mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Eight weeks later, eight of these rats were randomly chosen to serve as normal control (N group). The remaining rats were injected intraperitoneally with 60?mg/kg of streptozotocin (STZ) to induce DM. Eight of these rats were randomly chosen to serve as DM control (DM group), whereas another eight rats were subject to shockwave (SW) treatment (DM+SW group). Each rat in the DM+SW group received 300 shocks at energy level of 0.1?mJ/mm(2) and frequency of 120/minute. This procedure was repeated three times a week for 2 weeks. Another 2 weeks later, all 24 rats were evaluated for erectile function by intracavernous pressure (ICP) measurement. Afterward, their penile tissues were examined by histology. Main Outcome Measures.? Erectile function was measured by ICP. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)-positive nerves and the endothelium were examined by immunofluorescence staining. Smooth muscle and MSCs were examined by phalloidin and EdU staining, respectively. Results.? STZ treatment caused a significant decrease in erectile function and in the number of nNOS-positive nerves and in endothelial and smooth muscle contents. These DM-associated deficits were all partially but significantly reversed by LESWT. MSCs (EdU-positive cells) were significantly more numerous in DM+SW than in DM rats. Conclusion.? LESWT can partially ameliorate DM-associated ED by promoting regeneration of nNOS-positive nerves, endothelium, and smooth muscle in the penis. These beneficial effects appear to be mediated by recruitment of endogenous MSCs. Qiu X, Lin G, Xin Z, Ferretti L, Zhang H, Lue TF, and Lin C-S. Effects of low-energy shockwave therapy on the erectile function and tissue of a diabetic rat model. J Sex Med 2013;10:738-746.
Project description:Cavernous nerve injury is the main cause of erectile dysfunction following radical prostatectomy. The recovery of erectile function following radical prostatectomy remains challenging. Our previous studies found that injecting adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) into the cavernosa could repair the damaged cavernous nerves, but the erectile function of the treated rats could not be restored to a normal level. We evaluated the efficacy of ADSCs infected with a lentiviral vector encoding rat brain-derived neurotrophic factor (lenti-rBDNF) in a rat model of cavernous nerve injury. The rats were equally and randomly divided into four groups. In the control group, bilateral cavernous nerves were isolated but not injured. In the bilateral cavernous nerve injury group, bilateral cavernous nerves were isolated and injured with a hemostat clamp for 2 minutes. In the ADSC<sub>GFP</sub> and ADSC<sub>rBDNF</sub> groups, after injury with a hemostat clamp for 2 minutes, rats were injected with ADSCs infected with lenti-GFP (1 × 10<sup>6</sup> in 20 ?L) and lenti-rBDNF (1 × 10<sup>6</sup> in 20 ?L), respectively. Erectile function was assessed 4 weeks after injury by measuring intracavernosal pressures. Then, penile tissues were collected for histological detection and western blot assay. Results demonstrated that compared with the bilateral cavernous nerve injury group, erectile function was significantly recovered in the ADSC<sub>GFP</sub> and ADSC<sub>rBDNF</sub> groups, and to a greater degree in the ADSC<sub>rBDNF</sub> group. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase content in the dorsal nerves and the ratio of smooth muscle/collagen were significantly higher in the ADSC<sub>rBDNF</sub> and ADSC<sub>GFP</sub> groups than in the bilateral cavernous nerve injury group. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase expression was obviously higher in the ADSC<sub>rBDNF</sub> group than in the ADSC<sub>GFP</sub> group. These findings confirm that intracavernous injection with ADSCs infected with lenti-rBDNF can effectively improve erectile dysfunction caused by cavernous nerve injury. This study was approved by the Medical Animal Care and Welfare Committee of Wuhan University, China (approval No. 2017-1638) on June 20, 2017.
Project description:Porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS) has been widely used in tunica albuginea (TA) reconstructive surgery. Adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSCs) can repair damaged tissue, augment cellular differentiation, and stimulate release of multiple growth factors. The aim of this rat study was to assess the feasibility of seeding ADSCs onto SIS grafts for TA reconstruction. Here, we demonstrate that seeding syngeneic ADSCs onto SIS grafts (SIS-ADSC) resulted in significant cavernosal tissue preservation and maintained erectile responses, similar to controls, in a rat model of bilateral incision of TA, compared with sham-operated animals and rats grafted with SIS graft (SIS) alone. In addition to increased TGF-?1 and FGF-2 expression levels, cross-sectional studies of the rat penis with SIS and SIS-ADSC revealed mild to moderate fibrosis and an increase of 30% and 40% in mean diameter in flaccid and erectile states, respectively. SIS grafting induced transcriptional up-regulation of iNOS and down-regulation of endothelial NOS, neuronal NOS, and VEGF, an effect that was restored by seeding ADCSs on the SIS graft. Taken together, these data show that rats undergoing TA incision with autologous SIS-ADSC grafts maintained better erectile function compared with animals grafted with SIS alone. This study suggests that SIS-ADSC grafting can be successfully used for TA reconstruction procedures and can restore erectile function.