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Abstract

Volume 10, Issue 2 (March 2008) 10, 171–175; 10.1111/j.1745-7262.2008.00389.x

Recent advances in andrology-related stem cell research

Ching-Shwun Lin, Zhong-Cheng Xin, Chun-Hua Deng, Hongxiu Ning, Guiting Lin and Tom F Lue

1.Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
2.Andrology Center, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing 100009, China
3.Urology Department, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China

Correspondence: Dr Ching-Shwun Lin, Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA. Fax: +1-415-476-3803. E-mail: clin@urology.ucsf.edu

Received 12 December 2007; Accepted 11 January 2008.

Abstract

Stem cells hold great promise for regenerative medicine because of their ability to self-renew and to differentiate into various cell types. Although embryonic stem cells (BSC) have greater differentiation potential than adult stem cells, the former is lagging in reaching clinical applications because of ethical concerns and governmental restrictions. Bone marrow stem cells (BMSC) are the best-studied adult stem cells (ASC) and have the potential to treat a wide variety of diseases, including erectile dysfunction (ED) and male infertility. More recently discovered adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSC) are virtually identical to bone marrow stem cells in differentiation and therapeutic potential, but are easier and safer to obtain, can be harvested in larger quantities, and have the associated benefit of reducing obesity. Therefore, ADSC appear to be a better choice for future clinical applications. We have previously shown that ESC could restore the erectile function of neurogenic ED in rats, and we now have evidence that ADSC could do so as well. We are also investigating whether ADSC can differentiate into Leydig, Sertoli and male germ cells. The eventual goal is to use ADSC to treat male infertility and testosterone deficiency.

Keywords: stem cells, bone marrow stem cells, adipose tissue-derived stem cells, erectile dysfunction, male infertility

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