Cavernous nerve injury (CNI) is the main cause of erectile dysfunction (ED) following pelvic surgery. Our previous studies have demonstrated that transplantation of different sources of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was able to alleviate ED induced by CNI in rat models. However, little is known about the therapeutic effects of human gingiva-derived MSCs (hGMSCs) in CNI ED rats. Herein, we injected the hGMSCs around the bilateral major pelvic ganglia (MPG) in a rat model of CNI and evaluated their efficacy. The results showed that treatment of hGMSCs could significantly promote the recovery of erectile function, enhance smooth muscle and endothelial content, restore neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) expression, and attenuate cell apoptosis in penile tissue. Moreover, penile fibrosis was significantly alleviated after hGMSC administration. In addition, potential mechanism exploration indicated that hGMSCs might exert its functions via skewed macrophage polarity from M1 toward M2 anti-inflammatory phenotype. In conclusion, this study found that transplantation of hGMSCs significantly improved CNI-related ED, which might provide new clues to evaluate their pre-clinical application.Copyright © 2021 Wu, Chen, Zhong, Yang, Ouyang, Ma, Zheng and Wei.
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