Vacuum erectile device (VED) therapy is commonly used for penile rehabilitation after radical prostatectomy, however, the underlying mechanism of this effect is not fully understood.
To evaluate the presence of label-retaining cells (LRCs), cells with long-term retention of 5-ethynyl-2-deoxyuridine (EdU) labeling and recognized as adult stem cells or progenitor-like cells, in cavernous tissue after VED treatment using a BCNC rat model.
Postnatal pups (1 day old) of Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were intraperitoneally injected with EdU (50 ug/g, BID for 3 days) and BCNC surgery was conducted at 6 weeks old (designated as natal-labeled rats). Adult SD rats underwent BCNC surgery and EdU injection (50 ug/g, once) after surgery (designated as adult-labeled rats). One week after surgery, both natal- and adult-labeled rats received daily VED treatment for 4 weeks. Intracavernous pressure (ICP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were measured for all rats and then the penile tissue was harvested. The ratio of ICP/MAP was calculated to represent erectile function. Penile tissue was examined by immunofluorescence staining to detect EdU positive cells.
The ratio of Intracavernous pressure (ICP) /MAP and the percentage of EdU positive cells were measured.
The erectile function was impaired after BCNC and partially restored after VED treatment in both natal- and adult-labeled rats (P < .05). There was no difference in the percentage of EdU positive cells in natal-labeled rat cavernous tissue in BCNC group compared with VED group. Among the adult-labeled rats, the percentage of EdU positive cells increased in BCNC group (P < .05) but didn't change significantly after VED treatment (P = .35).
LRCs may play a limited role in the restoration of erectile dysfunction through VED treatment after BCNC. Yang B, Luse D, Cao Y, et al. The Role of Long Term Label-Retaining Cells in the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction by Vacuum Erectile Device. Sex Med 2021;9:100442.

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