Therapeutic effect of adipose-derived stem cells and BDNF-immobilized PLGA membrane in a rat model of cavernous nerve injury
Introduction: Cavernous nerve injury is the main reason for post-prostatectomy erectile dysfunction (ED). Stem cell and neuroprotection therapy are promising therapeutic strategy for ED. Aim. To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) immobilized Poly-Lactic-Co-Glycolic (PLGA) membrane on the cavernous nerve in a rat model of post-prostatectomy ED. Methods. Rats were randomly divided into five groups: normal group, bilateral cavernous nerve crush injury (BCNI) group, ADSC (BCNI group with ADSCs on cavernous nerve) group, BDNF-membrane (BCNI group with BDNF/PLGA membrane on cavernous nerve) group, and ADSC/BDNF-membrane (BCNI group with ADSCs covered with BDNF/PLGA membrane on cavernous nerve) group. BDNF was controlled-released for a period of 4 weeks in a BDNF/PLGA porous membrane system. Main Outcome Measures. Four weeks after the operation, erectile function was assessed by detecting the ratio of intra-cavernous pressure (ICP)/mean arterial pressure (MAP). Smooth muscle and collagen content were etermined by Masson’s trichrome staining. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) expression in the dorsal penile nerve was detected by immunostaining. Phospho-endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) protein expression and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) level of the corpus cavernosum were quantified byWestern blotting and cGMP assay, respectively.