Mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes ameliorate erection by reducing oxidative stress damage of corpus cavernosum in a rat model of artery injury

J Cell Mol Med. 2019 Nov;23(11):7462-7473. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.14615. Epub 2019 Sep 11.


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common ageing male's disease, and vascular ED accounts for the largest proportion of all types of ED. One of the mechanisms of vascular ED in the clinic is arterial insufficiency, which mainly caused by atherosclerosis, trauma and surgical. Moreover, oxidative stress damage after tissue ischemia usually aggravated the progress of ED. As a new way of acellular therapy, mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes (MSC-Exos) have great potential in ED treatment. In the current study, we have explored the mechanism of MSC-Exos therapy in a rat model of internal iliac artery injury-induced ED. Compared with intracavernous (IC) injection of phosphate-buffered saline after artery injury, of note, we observed that both mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and MSC-Exos through IC injection could improve the erectile function to varying degrees. More specifically, IC injection MSC-Exos could promote cavernous sinus endothelial formation, reduce the organization oxidative stress damage, and improve the nitric oxide synthase and smooth muscle content in the corpus cavernosum. With similar potency compared with the stem cell therapy and other unique advantages, IC injection of MSC- Exos could be an effective treatment to ameliorate erectile function in a rat model of arterial injury.

Keywords: artery injury; cavernous sinus endothelial cells; erectile dysfunction; exosomes; mesenchymal stem cells; oxidative stress damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteries / metabolism
  • Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Carotid Artery Injuries / metabolism
  • Carotid Artery Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Erectile Dysfunction / metabolism
  • Erectile Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Exosomes / metabolism
  • Exosomes / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Muscle, Smooth / metabolism
  • Muscle, Smooth / physiology
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Penile Erection / physiology
  • Penis / metabolism
  • Penis / physiopathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Nitric Oxide Synthase