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Adipose-derived stem cell-derived exosomes ameliorate erectile dysfunction in a rat model of type 2 diabetes

Wei, A1; Chen, F1; Zhang, H1; He, S1

1: Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China

Objective: The efficacy of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) in alleviating erectile dysfunction (ED) of diabetic rats has been demonstrated mainly through a paracrine effect. This study aimed to investigate the effect of ADSC-derived Exosomes (EXOs) on erectile function in a type 2 diabetic ED rat model.

Material and Methods: EXOs were isolated from the supernatants of cultured ADSCs by ultracentrifugation. In total, 24 type 2 diabetic rats were randomly assigned to three groups and were treated with an intracavernous injection of ADSC-derived EXOs, ADSCs, or phosphate buffered saline. Another eight age-matched rats underwent sham operation and composed the normal control group. Intracavernous pressure and mean arterial pressure testing and histologic and western blot analyses were performed 4 weeks after the intracavernous injection.

Results: ADSC-derived EXOs and ADSCs administered led to an increase in the ratio of intracavernous pressure to mean arterial pressure compared with that for phosphate buffered saline treatment. Histologic and western blot analyses demonstrated an increased ratio of smooth muscle to collagen, increased expression of an endothelial marker (CD31), a smooth muscle marker (a-smooth muscle actin), and antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 and decreased the expression of the apoptotic protein cleaved caspase-3 and apoptosis of endothelial and smooth muscle cells in the corpus cavernosum tissue after EXO or ADSC injection compared with values for the phosphate buffered saline treatment.

Conclusion: ADSC-derived EXOs, similarly to ADSCs, were capable of rescuing corpus cavernosum endothelial and smooth muscle cells by inhibiting apoptosis and thus promoting the recovery of erectile function in type 2 diabetic rats.


Work supported by industry: no.

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