Diabetic cystopathy is one of the common complications of diabetes and current therapy is limited. In the present study, the effects of gene therapy, using replication-defective herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) vectors to deliver and express the nerve growth factor (NGF) gene (HSV-NGF) on tissue NGF levels and bladder function, were evaluated in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Diabetic rats exhibited a significant decrease in NGF levels in the bladder and lumbosacral dorsal root ganglia (DRG) detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and displayed marked bladder dysfunction 12 weeks after STZ injection. In contrast, rats with bladder wall injection of the NGF expression vector 8 weeks after STZ treatment exhibited a significant increase of NGF levels in the bladder and L6 DRG 4 weeks after HSV-NGF injection. Along with the restoration of tissue NGF expression, in metabolic cage studies and cystometry, HSV-NGF-injected rats also showed significantly reduced bladder capacity and postvoid residual volume than diabetic rats injected with the control vector (HSV-lacZ), indicating that voiding function was improved after HSV vector-mediated NGF gene delivery. Thus, HSV vector-mediated NGF gene therapy may prove useful to restore decreased NGF expression in the bladder and bladder afferent pathways, thereby improving hypoactive bladder function in diabetes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism