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Olfactory ensheathing glia: Repairing injury to the mammalian visual system

Authors
Journal
Experimental Neurology
0014-4886
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
229
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2010.09.010
Keywords
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells
  • Glia
  • Neurotrauma
  • Myelination
  • Regeneration
Disciplines
  • Communication
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract The visual system is widely used as a model in which to study neurotrauma of the central nervous system and to assess the effects of experimental therapies. Adult mammalian retinal ganglion cell axons do not normally regenerate their axons for long distances following injury. Trauma to the visual system, particularly damage to the optic nerve or central visual tracts, causes loss of electrical communication between the retina and visual processing areas in the brain. After optic nerve crush or transection, axons degenerate and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are lost over a period of days. To promote and maintain axonal growth and connectivity, strategies must be developed to limit RGC death and provide regenerating axons with permissive substrates and a sustainable growth milieu that will ultimately provide long term visual function. This review explores the role olfactory glia can play in this repair. We describe the isolation of these cells from the olfactory system, transplantation to the brain, gene therapy and the possible benefits that these cells may have over other cellular therapies to initiate repair, in particular the stimulation of axonal regeneration in visual pathways. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Understanding olfactory ensheathing glia and their prospect for nervous system repair.

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