Korean J Androl.  2007 Dec;25(3):89-96.

Stem Cell Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Urology, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. yssong@hosp.sch.ac.kr

Abstract

Although the introduction of oral phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors has revolutionized the treatment of erectile dysfunction, there is still a need for new effective therapies for patients who fail to respond or who have severe cardiovascular disease. Stem cell therapy may restore physiological erections following normal endogenous signals. Treatments based on stem cells have the advantages of no inflammation and less immune rejection. Immunohistochemical evidence for nerve preservation and improved erectile function in rats after administration of neural embryonic stem cells intracavernosally has been reported. Potential differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells to endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells after injection into the corpus cavernosum in rats was confirmed. Mesenchymal stem cells alone or mesenchymal stem cells altered by gene therapy with endothelial nitric oxide synthase or calcitonin-related peptide restored damaged erectile physiology and improved erectile capacity in rats. Injection of skeletal muscle-derived cells into the corpus cavernosum improved erectile function. Fetal and cord blood stem cells also can be used as the source of stem cells. Recently, multipotent amniotic fluid-derived stem cells have been isolated. Advances in the research of amniotic fluid-derived stem cells are expected to further raise the hope for stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapy to restore erectile function may represent a fascinating new therapeutic strategy for future treatment.

Keyword

Penis; Erectile dysfunction; Stem cell
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