Gene therapy may yield marked improvement in ED

June 21, 2007

Injection of a gene therapy vector in rats with erectile dysfunction enabled the return of normal function within 4 weeks, according to a study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The research may be the first step in developing a new mode of long-term ED treatment, researchers say.

Injection of a gene therapy vector in rats with erectile dysfunction enabled the return of normal function within 4 weeks, according to a study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The research may be the first step in developing a new mode of long-term ED treatment, researchers say.

Researchers injected the gene for the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) or the GDNF family ligand (neurturin) into a genetically engineered herpes simplex virus (HSV). Then either recombinant virus was injected into the damaged cavernous nerve of rats. Controls received the unaltered virus.

Four weeks after treatment, rats given HSV-GDNF experienced improved recovery of intracavernous pressure (ICP) and systemic arterial pressure (AP) compared with both controls and untreated mice with ED, lead author Joseph C. Glorioso, III, PhD, reported at the American Society of Gene Therapy annual meeting in Seattle. Rats treated with HSV-neurturin also had marked recovery compared with controls or untreated mice.