07-06-2003, 08:20 PM
• Au E and Roskams AJ (2003). Olfactory ensheathing cells of the lamina propria in vivo and in vitro. Glia 41:224-36. Summary: Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) continuously support the regeneration of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs). In addition, OECs promote regeneration of neurons within the CNS in a number of transplantation paradigms, but details of exactly how they support regeneration remain elusive. The majority of studies using OECs to promote regeneration have thus far focused on understanding the cell biology of OECs purified from the olfactory bulb (OB). Here we show that a population of OECs similar to those obtained from the OB is present in the lamina propria (LP) beneath the olfactory epithelium (OE). These OECs are the first glial cells encountered by the axons of developing ORNs as they exit the OE and display distinct and variable expression of p75, S100beta, GFAP, and O4, characteristic markers of bulb OECs. Once purified in vitro, they display Schwann cell-like and astrocyte-like properties and expand rapidly. In addition to resembling OB-OECs, LP-OECs also express a unique combination of developmentally important proteins-CD 44, beta1 integrin, P200, Notch 3, NG2, VEGF, and PACAP and CREB binding protein (CBP/p300)-not previously reported in OB-OECs. These data suggest that LP-OECs, like OB-OECs, are a developmentally distinct class of glia that are capable of both immature and mature function, depending on environmental stimuli, within the adult nervous system. Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.