Introduction: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a frequent
complication of diabetes mellitus. The efficacy of common ED
therapies is low for diabetes-associated ED.
Aim: To explore the effects of transplantation of bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) on improving
erectile function of streptozocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats.
Methods: Male Sprague Dawley rats were injected either
with STZ to induce diabetes or with citrate buffer as controls.
Rat BM-MSCs were harvested and labeled with CM-DiI
(Chloromethylbenzamido derivatives of 1,1'-dioctadecyl-
3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate), and then
transplanted into corporal cavernosum of STZ-induced diabetic
rats. Four weeks after transplantation, all rats were analyzed for
erectile function and penile histology.
Main outcome measures: Erectile function was evaluated
by the ratio between intracavernous pressure (ICP) and
mean arterial pressure (MAP) during electrostimulation of
cavernous nerve. Fate of transplanted BM-MSCs was identified
using immunofluorescence staining. Smooth muscle and
endothelium in corpora cavernosum were assessed using
Results: After BM-MSCs transplantation, the ICP/MAP ratio
was increased significantly compared with diabetic controls.
Content of smooth muscle and endothelium in corporal
cavernosa of BM-MSCs transplanted rats was significantly
increased compared to diabetic controls. Immunofluorescence
analysis demonstrated that CM-DiI-labeled BM-MSCs could
stay in corporal cavernosa for at least 4 weeks and some of them
expressed von Willebrand Factor, CD31, calponin, or α-smooth
muscle actin, cells markers for endothelial cells or smooth
muscle cells, respectively.
Conclusions: Intracavernous transplantation of BM-MSCs
had beneficial effects on erectile function of diabetic rats and
increased the content of endothelium and smooth muscle in