Research Papers: Pathology:
Treatment of diabetes mellitus-induced erectile dysfunction using endothelial progenitor cells genetically modified with human telomerase reverse transcriptase
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Yan Zhang1,2, Zhi Chen3, Tao Wang1,2, Jun Yang1,2, Rui Li1,2, Shaogang Wang1,2, Jihong Liu1,2, Zhangqun Ye1,2
1 Institute of Urology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
2 Department of Urology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
3 Department of Gerontology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, HuBei, China
Zhi Chen, email:
Jihong Liu, email:
Keywords: diabetes mellitus, erectile dysfunction, endothelial progenitor cells, human telomerase reverse transcriptase, paracrine, Pathology Section
Received: October 08, 2015 Accepted: April 28, 2016 Published: June 07, 2016
The efficacy of treatments for diabetes mellitus-induced erectile dysfunction (DMED) is quite poor, and stem cell therapy is emerging as a useful method. In this study, we used endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) overexpressing human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) for the treatment of DMED. Rat EPCs were transfected with hTERT (EPCs-hTERT). EPCs-hTERT secreted more growth factors and demonstrated enhanced proliferation and resistance to oxidative stress. Twenty-four male DMED rats were subjected to four treatments: DMED (DMED group), EPCs (EPCs group), EPCs transduced with control lentivirus (EPC-control group) and EPCs-hTERT (EPCs-hTERT group). A group of healthy rats were used as the normal control group. The erectile function in the EPCs-hTERT group was markedly increased compared with the EPCs and EPCs-control groups. The EPCs-hTERT group exhibited more growth factors, smooth muscle content and retained stem cells in penile tissues. The degree of apoptosis and collagen/smooth muscle ratio in penile tissues of the EPCs-hTERT group was considerably reduced. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression increased significantly in the EPCs-hTERT group. Taken together, these data showed that the enhanced paracrine effect, resistance to oxidative stress and proliferation of EPCs-hTERT may contribute to the improvements of erectile function in DMED rats.
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