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Cellular and molecular biology of ensheathing cells


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Chuah, MI and West, AK 2002 , 'Cellular and molecular biology of ensheathing cells' , Microscopy Research and Technique, vol. 58 , pp. 216-227 , doi: 10.1002/jemt.10151.

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ABSTRACT Ensheathing cells are the glial cells that envelop olfactory axons as they course
from the olfactory epithelium to the bulb. They are derived from the olfactory placode and differ
from the typical glia in terms of sharing the phenotypes of both astrocytes and Schwann cells. The
aims of this study are to review (1) cellular characterisation of ensheathing cells in vivo and in vitro,
(2) molecular insight into their growth promoting properties, and (3) their role in olfactory development
and potential function as a therapeutic agent for nerve repair. Much of the characterisation
of ensheathing cell property has developed from immunohistochemical studies that have been
supplemented with new molecular methodologies in recent years. Many pieces of evidence clearly
indicate that ensheathing cells actively produce growth-promoting molecules, which act in a
paracrine and, in some cases, autocrine manner. However, a review of the available literature also
suggests that there is a great deal that remains to be elucidated regarding the cell biology of
ensheathing cells, for example, their rate of formation and turnover. In addition, the apparent
antigenic heterogeneity as revealed by numerous in vitro studies warrants further analysis,
particularly in view of the fact that in recent years these cells have been touted as a possible agent
for central nerve repair. New molecular methodologies such as the microarray techniques will prove
to be crucial for defining the unique characteristics of ensheathing cells. Microsc. Res. Tech. 58:

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Chuah, MI and West, AK
Keywords: primary olfactory pathway; axon growth; growth factors; receptors; neural repair
Journal or Publication Title: Microscopy Research and Technique
ISSN: 1059-910X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1002/jemt.10151
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