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Volume 20, Issue 5 (September 2018) 20, 442–447; 10.4103/aja.aja_48_18

Nanotechnology-assisted adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC) therapy for erectile dysfunction of cavernous nerve injury: In vivo cell tracking, optimized injection dosage, and functional evaluation

Han Wu1,2,3, Wen-Hao Tang1,2,3,4, Lian-Ming Zhao1,2,3, De-Feng Liu2,3, Yu-Zhuo Yang2,3,4, Hai-Tao Zhang1,2,3, Zhe Zhang1,2,3, Kai Hong1,2,3, Hao-Cheng Lin1,2,3, Hui Jiang1,2,3,4

1 Department of Urology, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China
2 Department of Reproductive Medicine Center, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China
3 Department of Andrology, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China
4 Department of Human Sperm Bank, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China

Correspondence: Dr. H Jiang (jianghui55@163.com) or Dr. HC Lin (haochenglin292@163.com)

Date of Submission 13-Feb-2018 Date of Acceptance 04-May-2018 Date of Web Publication 10-Jul-2018


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 × 105 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.

Keywords: adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC); cavernous nerve injury; cell tracking; erectile dysfunction

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