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Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) accompany the axons of olfactory receptor neurons, which regenerate throughout life, from the olfactory mucosa into the olfactory bulb. OECs have shown widely varying efficacy in repairing the injured nervous system. Analysis of the transcriptome of OECs will help in understanding their biology and will provide tools for investigating the mechanisms of their efficacy and interactions with host tissues in lesion models. In this study, we compared the transcriptional profile of cultured OECs with that of Schwann cells (SCs) and astrocytes (ACs), two glial cell types to which OECs have similarities. Two biological replicates of RNA from cultured OECs, SCs, and ACs were hybridized to long oligo rat 5K arrays against a common reference pool of RNA (50% cultured fibroblast RNA and 50% neonatal rat brain RNA). Transcriptional profiles were analyzed by hierarchical clustering, Principal Components Analysis, and the Venn diagram. The three glial cell types had similarly increased or decreased expression of numerous transcripts compared with the reference. However, OECs were distinguishable from both SCs and ACs by a modest number of transcripts, which were significantly enriched or depleted. Furthermore, OECs and SCs were more closely related to each other than to ACs. Expression of selected transcripts not previously characterized in OECs, such as Lyz, Timp2, Gro1 (Cxcl1), Ccl2 (MCP1), Ctgf, and Cebpb, was validated by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR); immunohistochemistry in cultured OECs, SCs, and ACs, and adult tissues was performed to demonstrate their expression at the protein level.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





132 - 147


Animals, Astrocytes, Biomarkers, Cells, Cultured, Down-Regulation, Gene Expression, Gene Expression Profiling, Immunohistochemistry, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Neuroglia, Olfactory Bulb, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, RNA, Messenger, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Schwann Cells, Up-Regulation