22 Mar The effect of neural embryonic stem cell therapy in a rat model of cavernosal nerve injury.
OBJECTIVE: To isolate embryonic stem cells that have differentiated along the neuronal cell line, and to assess whether injecting these neural stem cells into the corpus cavernosum influences cavernosal nerve regeneration and functional status.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Embryonic neural stem cells were obtained; 26 male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups: five had a sham operation; eight (controls) had a bilateral cavernosal nerve crush and injection of culture medium into the corpora cavernosa; four had an injection of neural embryonic stem (NES) cells into the major pelvic ganglion (MPG); and nine had bilateral cavernosal nerve crush and injection of NES cells into the corpora cavernosa. Erectile response was assessed by cavernosal nerve electrostimulation at 3 months, and penile tissue samples were evaluated histochemically for nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-containing fibres, tyrosine hydroxylase and neurofilament staining.
RESULTS: The groups injected with NES cells into the MPG and corpora cavernosa had significantly higher intracavernosal pressures than the control group. Immunohistochemical staining also revealed differences in the quality of the NOS-containing nerve fibres. Neurofilament staining was significantly better in the experimental groups injected with NES cells.
CONCLUSION: We were able to isolate embryonic stem cells that had differentiated along the neural cell line and, using these NES cells intracavernosally, showed improved erectile function in a rat model of neurogenic impotence.
PMID: 15476533 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]