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In Europe and the United States, verteporfin (Visudyne; VP) is registered and used in treating macular degeneration. Research showed that VP decreased expression of fibrotic genes in fibroblasts collected from nodules of patients suffering from Dupuytren's disease, plausibly by de-activating transcription in the Yes Activated Protein (YAP) pathway.

To analyze the effect of VP on myofibroblasts cultured from Peyronie's disease (PD) plaques.

At surgery for PD we took biopsies from the plaques of 5 patients. By immunostaining, the presence of the pathologic myofibroblasts was determined. After culturing cells, VP was dispensed in starvation medium for 24 and 48 hours and messenger(m)RNA levels of COL1A1, ACTA2, COL5A1, EDA-FN, LOXL2, CCN2, SERPINH1, PLOD2, and YAP were quantified and compared with controls with real-time polymerase chain reaction.

mRNA-levels of COL1A1, ACTA2, COL5A1, EDA-FN, LOXL2, CCN2, SERPINH1, PLOD2, and YAP.

The pathologic phenotype of cells isolated from PD plaques was confirmed with baseline immunofluorescent stainings that showed considerable levels of α-smooth muscle actin, being a marker for the presence of myofibroblasts. The mRNA ratios of all the genes related to fibrosis (COL1A1, etc.) except YAP decreased significantly after treatment with VP within 24 and 48 hours. These results suggest inhibition of fibrosis in the YAP cascade, downstream of YAP.

In our opinion, urologists must move the focus to disease before deformity, and the search for new oral or intralesional agents, well-tolerated and effective in both the acute and chronic phase of PD must continue. VP blocked the expression of genes related to fibrosis in the YAP cascade in myofibroblasts derived from PD plaque. Mohede DCJ, de Jong IJ, Bank RA, et al. Verteporfin as a medical treatment in Peyronie's disease. Sex Med 2018;XX:XXX-XXX.

Sexual medicine. 2018 Sep 28 [Epub ahead of print]

Daan C J Mohede, Igle Jan de Jong, Ruud A Bank, Mels F van Driel

Department of Urology, University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands. Electronic address: ., Department of Urology, University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands., Department of Pathology & Medical Biology, University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.

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