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Cell Transplant. 2014;23(4-5):567-71. doi: 10.3727/096368914X678508.

The potential therapeutic applications of olfactory ensheathing cells in regenerative medicine.

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  • 1Graduate Institute of Cancer Biology, Center for Molecular Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.


Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) are unique glia cells restricted to the primary olfactory system including the olfactory mucosa, olfactory nerve, and the outer nerve layer of the olfactory bulb. OECs guide growing olfactory axons from the neurons of the nasal cavity olfactory mucosa to the olfactory bulb to connect both the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and central nervous system (CNS). Based on these specialized abilities of OECs, transplantation of OECs to injury sites has been widely investigated for their potential therapeutic applications in neural repair in different injuries. In this article, we reviewed the properties of OECs and their roles in olfactory regeneration and in treatment of different injuries including spinal cord injury, PNS injury, and stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.

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