Send to

Choose Destination
Neurosci Lett. 2009 Jun 12;456(3):137-42. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.08.093. Epub 2009 Jan 17.

Unique in vivo properties of olfactory ensheathing cells that may contribute to neural repair and protection following spinal cord injury.

Author information

Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, 06516, USA.


Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) are specialized glial cells that guide olfactory receptor axons from the nasal mucosa into the brain where they make synaptic contacts in the olfactory bulb. While a number of studies have demonstrated that in vivo transplantation of OECs into injured spinal cord results in improved functional outcome, precise cellular mechanisms underlying this improvement are not fully understood. Current thinking is that OECs can encourage axonal regeneration, provide trophic support for injured neurons and for angiogenesis, and remyelinate axons. However, Schwann cell (SC) transplantation also results in significant functional improvement in animal models of spinal cord injury. In culture SCs and OECs share a number of phenotypic properties such as expression of the low affinity NGF receptor (p75). An important area of research has been to distinguish potential differences in the in vivo behavior of OECs and SCs to determine if one cell type may offer greater advantage as a cellular therapeutic candidate. In this review we focus on several unique features of OECs when they are transplanted into the spinal cord.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center