Introduction: Peyronie’s Disease (PD) is a connective tissue disorder of the penile tunica albuginea that affects approximately 10% of men. The plaques which hallmark PD contain excessive amounts of collagen which can result in penile curvature, painful erections, and/or erectile dysfunction. Intralesional injection of Clostridium collagenase histolyticum is no longer available in Canada, thus limiting treatment options. Hayward kiwis are a nutrient dense fruit which contain the soluble protein actinidin. Actinidin has the ability to hydrolyze collagens and fibrinogen and is considered a collagenase alternative. There have been no studies evaluating the application of actinidin or other novel collagenases on in vitro cellular PD models. Our objective is to determine the effectiveness of the actinidin in reducing the amount of collagen in human PD cells.
Methods: Three human PD (HPD) tunica albugina and three human control (ED, no PD) tissue (HC) were isolated for fibroblast cells and cultured using complete media. Each cell culture had four different treatment groups: media (control), high kiwi extract (1.0 mg/ml of actinidin), low kiwi extract (0.5 mg/ml of actinidin), and solvent control. The treated cells were prepared and extracted for cellular collagen by an acetic acid hydrolysis method. Cellular extracts were plated into a 96-well plate and combined with solutions provided by the Sigma-Aldrich Soluble Collagen Quantification Assay Kit. The collagen content was measured using a fluorometric microplate reader.
Results: The HPD groups have a significantly higher concentration of collagen compared to the control group (p < 0.0001). Within the HPD group, the high kiwi extract group was statistically significant in reducing cellular collagen compared to the control (p < 0.05). The lower concentration group has less effect in reducing collagen concentrations.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that actinidin may be effective in reducing the amount of collagen in human PD plaques. Further studies should be conducted to investigate optimal actinidin concentrations to elucidate how actindin impacts the cellular matrix in human PD plaques. In the absence of durable FDA approved treatments for PD in Canada, this novel collagenase could offer future treatment potential.
Source of Funding: Canadian Urological Association Scholarship Foundation