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Stem cell Research in ED

Stem cell Research in ED

Stem cells hold great promise for regenerative medicine because of their ability to self-renew and to differentiate into various cell types. Although embryonic stem cells (BSC) have greater differentiation potential than adult stem cells, many hurdles regarding ethical concerns and governmental restrictions limit its progress to clinical application. Bone marrow stem cells (BMSC) are the best-studied adult stem cells (ASC) and have the potential to treat a wide variety of diseases, including erectile dysfunction (ED).

Adipose tissue derived stem cells (ADSC) are virtually identical to bone marrow stem cells in differentiation and therapeutic potential. These cells can be harvested in larger quantities, and have the associated benefit of reducing obesity. Therefore, ADSC appear to be a better choice for future clinical applications. We have shown that ADSC could restore the erectile function in rat models of ED from nerve injury (Albersen et al, 2010) , diabetes (Garcia et al, 2010) and hyperlipidemia (Huang et al, 2010). We also noted that mesenchymal stem cells exist in bone marrow and in vessel wall of small blood vessels throughout the body. We and others have recently propose that they should be named “vascular stem cells” (Lin et al, 2008, 2010). They are likely the precursors of endothelial cells and pericytes and are thus important in vascular health and diseases. Better understanding of the biology of these cells may be the key to prevention and reversal of various types of ED.

Speakers: Tom F. Lue
Conference: WAS Glasgow 2011