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Intratunical injection of autologous adipose stromal vascular fraction reduces collagen III expression in a rat model of chronic penile fibrosis

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that the injection of adipose stem cells and stromal vascular fraction(SVF) into the tunica albuginea (TA) during the inflammatory phase in a rat model of Peyronie’s disease(PD) prevented the development of TA fibrosis. Our aim was to investigate whether local injection of SVF can reduce established fibrosis in a rat model of chronic phase of PD. Eighteen-male 12-wk-old Sprague-Dawley rats were divided in three equal groups: sham, PD without treatment (PD) and PD treated with SVF(PD-SVF). Sham rats underwent 2 injections of vehicle into the TA one month apart. PD rats underwent TGF-β1 injection and injection of vehicle one month later. PD-SVF rats underwent TGF-β1 injection followed by SVF (1-million cells) one month later. One month after the last treatment, the animals, n = 6 rats per group, underwent measurement of intracorporal and mean arterial pressure during electrostimulation of the cavernous nerve. Following euthanasia, penises were harvested for in-vitro study. Erectile function was not statistically significantly different between groups. PD animals developed subtunical areas of fibrosis and elastosis with upregulation of collagen III protein. These fibrotic changes were reversed after injection of SVF. We provide evidence that local injection of SVF reverses TA fibrosis in a rat model of chronic phase of PD.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Arianna Bettiga, Fabio Benigni, Giorgia Colciago, Rita Van Bree, Catherien Luyten, Goedlieve Verbist, and Petra Steven for their technical contributions to the experiments in this study. This study was funded by the European Society for Sexual Medicine (ESSM) grant for basic medical research 2011 awarded to Fabio Castiglione and Maarten Albersen and by European Urological Scholarship Programme (EUSP) awarded to Fabio Castiglione Asif Muneer is supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre UCLH.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Correspondence to Maarten Albersen.

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