IMR Press / FBS / Volume 2 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/S64

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Biomarkers expression in rat olfactory ensheathing cells
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1 Institute of Neurological Sciences, National Research Council, Section of Catania, via P Gaifami 18, 95126 Catania, Italy
2 Department of Physiological Sciences, University of Catania, viale A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
3 Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Genoa, via De Toni 14, 16132 Genoa, Italy

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2010, 2(1), 289–298;
Published: 1 January 2010

Olfactory Ensheathing Cells (OECs) ensheathe unmyelinated olfactory axons and exhibit antigenic and morphological characteristics both of astrocytes and of Schwann Cells (SCs). As a matter of fact they express an astrocyte-specific marker (GFAP) and low-affinity p75 nerve growth factor receptor (p75 NGFr), S100, as well as adhesion molecules such as laminin and N-CAM like SCs. Immunocytochemical studies reveal that OECs are able to produce different growth and survival factors. In vitro, OECs promote axonal growth, probably by secretion of neurotrophic growth factors that support axonal elongation and extension. In vivo studies have shown that OECs can form myelin promoting remyelination of damaged axons. In fact, when transplanted, they stimulate extensive sprouting and axonal regeneration of multiple axons. As OECs appear to exert a neuroprotective effect for functional restoration and for neural plasticity in neurodegenerative disorders, they might be considered a suitable approach to functional recovery. These data establish OECs as prime candidates for transplantation, showing some advantages over SC thanks to their different capacity to intermingle with astrocytes after implantation in lesion sites.

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