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Olfactory mucosa (OM)-derived olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) are attractive candidates for autologous cell transplantation-based therapy of nervous system injury. However, defining the regenerative capacity of OM-derived OECs is impeded by the fact that cell cultures used for transplantation
may contain significant amounts of contaminating trigeminal nerve Schwann cells that escape identification by sharing in vitro expression of OEC markers. The aim of the present study, therefore, was to quantify contaminating Schwann cells in OEC preparations and to develop a protocol for their
specific depletion. Based on the observation that freshly dissociated, but not cultured, OECs and Schwann cells display differential expression of HNK-1 and p75NTR, magnet-activated cell sorting (MACS) was used to deplete myelinating (HNK-1-positive) and nonmyelinating (p75NTR-positive)
Schwann cells from primary cell suspensions containing HNK-1-/p75NTR-negative OECs. Upregulation of p75NTR expression in OECs during culturing allowed their subsequent MACS-based separation from fibroblasts. Immunofluorescence analysis of freshly dissociated OM prior
to MACS depletion revealed that 21% of the total and 56% of all CNPase-positive cells, representing both OECs and Schwann cells, expressed the Schwann cell antigens HNK-1 or p75NTR, indicating that freshly dissociated OM prior to culturing contained as many Schwann cells as OECs,
while olfactory bulb (OB) primary cell suspensions revealed lower levels of Schwann cell contamination. Interestingly, neurite growth of neonatal rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons cocultured with OM-OECs, OB-OECs, and fibular nerve (FN) Schwann cells used as control was significantly
higher in the presence of OECs than of Schwann cells. The first report on identification and specific depletion of Schwann cells from OEC preparations provides a solid basis for future efforts to fully define the regenerative potential of nasal mucosa OECs.
Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany
Publication date: February 1, 2013
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Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.