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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 6069756, 8 pages
Research Article

The Therapeutic Effects after Transplantation of Whole-Layer Olfactory Mucosa in Rats with Optic Nerve Injury

1Department of Neurosurgery, Shanghai Institute of Neurosurgery, PLA Institute of Neurosurgery, Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, 415 Fengyang Road, Shanghai 200003, China
2Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Lijun Hou

Received 15 October 2017; Revised 18 December 2017; Accepted 3 January 2018; Published 11 March 2018

Academic Editor: Antonio Salgado

Copyright © 2018 Shun Gong et al. 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.


Background. Existing evidence suggests the potential therapy of transplanting olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC) either alone or in combination with neurotrophic factors or other cell types in optic nerve injury (ONI). However, clinical use of autologous OEC in the acute stages of ONI is not possible. On the other hand, acute application of heterologous transplantation may bring the issue of immune rejection. The olfactory mucosa (OM) with OEC in the lamina propria layer is located in the upper region of the nasal cavity and is easy to dissect under nasal endoscopy, which makes it a candidate as autograft material in acute stages of ONI. To investigate the potential of the OM on the protection of injured neurons and on the promotion of axonal regeneration, we developed a transplantation of syngenic OM in rats with ONI model. Methods. After the right optic nerve was crushed in Lewis rats, pieces of syngenic whole-layer OM were transplanted into the lesion. Rats undergoing phosphate buffered saline (PBS) injection were used as negative controls (NC). The authors evaluated the regeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and axons for 3, 7, 14, and 28 days after transplantation. Obtained retinas and optic nerves were analyzed histologically. Results. Transplantations of OM significantly promoted the survival of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and axonal growth of RGCs compared with PBS alone. Moreover, OM group was associated with higher expression of GAP-43 in comparison with the PBS group. In addition to the potential effects on RGCs, transplantations of OM significantly decreased the expression of GFAP in the retinas, suggesting inhibiting astrocyte activation. Conclusions. Transplantation of whole-layer OM in rats contributes to the neuronal survival and axon regeneration after ONI.