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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2 (2002), Issue 1, Pages 37-43
Review article

Olfactory Ensheathing Glia: Drivers of Axonal Regeneration in the Central Nervous System?

Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa” (CSIC-UAM), Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid 28049, Spain

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Olfactory ensheathing glia (OEG) accompany olfactory growing axons in their entry to the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS). Due to this special characteristic, considerable attention has been focused on the possibility of using OEG for CNS regeneration. OEG present a large heterogeneity in culture with respect to their cellular morphology and expressed molecules. The specific characteristics of OEG responsible for their regenerative properties have to be defined. These properties probably result from the combination of several factors: molecular composition of the membrane (expressing adhesion molecules as PSA-NCAM, L1 and/or others) combined with their ability to reduce glial scarring and to accompany new growing axons into the host CNS. Their capacity to produce some neurotrophic factors might also account for their ability to produce CNS regeneration.