Shangren Wang, Aiqiao Zhang, Kang Liu
Apr 12, 2022
The present study aimed to assess the value of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUC‐MSCs) for the treatment of diabetes‐induced erectile dysfunction (DMED). We established a type 1 diabetes model through intra‐abdominal streptozotocin injection. After 10 weeks, an apomorphine test was performed to screen the rats for erectile dysfunction (ED). The rats were divided into three groups: normal control group (n = 10), DMED group (n = 9) and DMED+hUC‐MSC group (n = 9). After 4 weeks of hUC‐MSC therapy, erectile function was evaluated by intracavernous pressure measurements, and penile tissue collagen and smooth muscle were examined by haematoxylin‐eosin and Masson's trichrome staining. In addition, western blotting, immunohistochemistry and RT‐PCR analysis of TLR4, VEGF and eNOS were performed. The results showed that hUC‐MSC treatment restored erectile function (p < .05) and reversed the smooth muscle/collagen ratio changes of DMED rats (p < .05). Furthermore, hUC‐MSC treatment inhibited the expression of TLR4 (p < .05) and enhanced VEGF and eNOS expression (p < .05). In conclusion, hUC‐MSC treatment restored the erectile function of diabetic rats by inhibiting TLR4, improving corpora cavernosa fibrosis, and increasing VEGF and eNOS expression.