Presentation Authors: Yong Hyun Park*, Ae Ryang Jung, Ga Eun Kim, Mee Young Kim, Hyong Woo Moon, Ji Youl Lee, Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Introduction: Post-prostatectomy erectile dysfunction (ED) is the major problem for patients with prostate cancer. Recently, tissue-engineering approach has been attempted for post-prostatectomy ED, but the use of stem cells raised several concerns including immune-mediated rejection, limited cell survival, and malignant transformation. In this study, we investigated the effects of exosomes from adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) on recovery of erectile function in a bilateral cavernous nerve injury (BCNI) rat model.
Methods: Exosomes were isolated from the supernatants of cultured ADSCs by pelleting ultracentrifugation and density gradient ultracentrifugation method. Then, we confirmed the expression of exosomal negative marker (calnexin) and exosomal positive marker (CD9, CD81, CD63) by western blot analyses. We investigated the efficacy of exosomes from ADSCs on the cavernous nerve in a BCNI rat model. Rats were randomly divided into three groups: Normal group, BCNI group, and Exosome (BCNI group with exosomes on cavernous nerve) group. Erectile function was assessed by measuring the intracavernous pressure (ICP)/mean arterial pressure (MAP) level. Penile and cavernous nerve tissues were retrieved for histologic and molecular analyses.
Results: Exosomes from ADSCs showed significantly increased expression of CD9 and CD81 and negative expression of calnexin and CD29 that indicate a successful isolation of exosomes from culture medium. In animal experiments, the ICP/MAP ratios in the Exosomes group were significantly increased compared to those in the BCNI group. Exosomes group showed significantly increased smooth muscle/collagen ratio, nNOS content, phosphoâ€eNOS protein expression, and cGMP level, compared with the BCNI group.
Conclusions: Exosomes from ADSCs could significantly improve erectile function and alleviate pathological changes in a BCNI rat model. Exosomes derived from ADSCs may be a potential cell-free agent for post-prostatectomy ED.