Repairing Erectile Dysfunction

102(2):220-4; discussion 224. Epub 2008 Jul 1.
Human neural crest stem cells transplanted in rat penile corpus cavernosum to repair erectile dysfunction.
Song YS, Lee HJ, Park IH, Lim IS, Ku JH, Kim SU

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the feasibility of applying neural crest stem cells (NCSCs), with multipotent capacity, to repair injury in the penile cavernosum, the HNC10.K10 (K10) immortalized NCSC line was transplanted into the penile cavernosum of adult rats, as one of the causes of erectile dysfunction is damaged penile cavernous smooth muscle cells and sinus endothelial cells.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The K10 human NCSC line was generated via transfection of primary cultured NCSC with a retroviral vector encoding v-myc. K10 NCSCs were transplanted into the cavernosum of adult rats. The expression of cell type-specific markers for endothelial cells (CD31 and von Willebrand factor), and specific markers for smooth muscle cells (smooth muscle cell actin, calponin, and desmin) was determined immunohistochemically in the penile cavernosum of rats 2 weeks after transplantation.

RESULTS: In the rat cavernosum, transplanted K10 NCSCs identified by human nuclear antigen labelling expressed cell type-specific markers for endothelial cells (CD31 and von Willebrand factor), and specific markers for smooth muscle cells (smooth muscle cell actin, calponin, and desmin) 2 weeks after transplantation. Human NCSCs transplanted into the rat penile corpus cavernosum differentiated into endothelial cells or smooth muscle cells, as shown by their expression of cell type-specific markers for the cell types.

CONCLUSION: It appears that NCSCs are an ideal cell source for reconstructing endothelial and smooth muscle cells in the corpus cavernosum in cell therapy for patients with erectile dysfunction.

PMID: 18284412 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]