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Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2010 Sep;16(9):834-9.

[Compound graft of porcine small intestinal submucosa with Schwann cells to reconstruct injured cavernous nerves and restore erectile function].

[Article in Chinese]

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  • 1Department of Urology, Weifang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, Weifang, Shandong 261042, China.



To investigate the restoration of rat penile erection by reconstructing injured cavernous nerves (CN) with a compound graft prepared from porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS) and Schwann cells (SC).


SCs were cultured in vitro and a compound graft was prepared from the SCs and SIS. Thirty-three healthy SD rats were randomly divided into three groups of equal number, sham-operation, CN ablation, and SIS + SC graft. Three months after the operation, all the rats underwent the apomorphine test, followed by immunohistochemical staining of the tissues from the middle part of the corpus cavernosum penis.


Combined use of mechanical stripping, mixed-enzyme digestion, different-speed adhesion, short-term Ara-C and some other methods yielded SCs of a purity high enough for nerve tissue engineering. The SIS prepared by mechanical and chemical methods exhibited a good biocompatibility with SCs, which could adhere, grow, propagate and differentiate on its surface. The apomorphine test showed that both the rate and frequency of penile erection were significantly higher in the SIS + SC graft than in the CN ablation group (P < 0.01), but lower than in the sham operation group (P < 0.01). The number of nNOS positive nerve fibers in the SIS + SC graft group was significantly different from that of the CN ablation (P < 0.01), but both were smaller than that of the sham-operation group.


The compound of SIS with SCs, as a nerve graft, can be used to reconstruct injured cavernous nerves, and to some extent, restore penile erectile function.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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