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Abstract

Volume 11, Issue 2 (March 2009) 11, 215–221; 10.1038/aja.2008.37

The effect of platelet-rich plasma on cavernous nerve regeneration in a rat model

Xie-Gang Ding, Shi-Wen Li, Xin-Min Zheng, Li-Quan Hu, Wan-Li Hu and Yi Luo

Research Center of Urology and Andrology, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China

Correspondence: Dr Shi-Wen Li, Research Center of Urology and Andrology, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China. Fax: +86-27-6781-3090 E-mail: drlishiwen@yahoo.com.cn

Received 25 July 2008; Revised 6 October 2008; Accepted 22 October 2008; Published online 19 January 2009

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) on cavernous nerve (CN) regeneration and functional status in a nerve-crush rat model. Twenty-four Sprague–Dawley male rats were randomly divided into three equal groups: eight had a sham operation, eight underwent bilateral nerve crushing with no further intervention and eight underwent bilateral nerve crushing with an immediate application of PRP on the site of injury. Erectile function was assessed by CN electrostimulation at 3 months and nerve regeneration was assessed by toluidine blue staining of CN and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-diaphorase staining of penile tissue. Three months after surgery, in the group that underwent bilateral nerve crushing with no further intervention, the functional evaluation showed a lower mean maximal intracavernous pressure (ICP) and maximal ICP per mean arterial pressure (MAP) with CN stimulation than those in the sham group. In the group with an immediate application of PRP, the mean maximal ICP and maximal ICP/MAP were significantly higher than those in the injured control group. Histologically, the group with the application of PRP had more myelinated axons of CNs and more NADPH-diaphorase-positive nerve fibres than the injured control group but fewer than the sham group. These results show that the application of PRP to the site of CN-crush injury facilitates nerve regeneration and recovery of erectile function. Our research indicates that clinical application of PRP has potential repairing effect on CN and peripheral nerves.

Keywords: platelet rich plasma, impotence, erectile dysfunction, nerve regeneration

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