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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(6), 10852-10868; doi:10.3390/ijms140610852

Generation of Magnetized Olfactory Ensheathing Cells for Regenerative Studies in the Central and Peripheral Nervous Tissue

1,†,* , 2,3,4,†
1 Institute of Life Science, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Piazza Martiri della Libertà 33, Pisa 56127, Italy 2 Molecular and Cellular Neurobiotechnology, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), Barcelona Science Park, Baldiri Reixac 15-21, Barcelona 08028, Spain 3 Department of Cell Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Diagonal 643, Barcelona 08028, Spain 4 Networked Biomedical Research Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED), Barcelona 08028, Spain 5 Nanoscience Institute of Aragón, University of Zaragoza, Mariano Esquillor, Zaragoza 50018, Spain 6 Department of Biology, University of Pisa, Via Luca Ghini 5, Pisa 56126, Italy These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 April 2013 / Revised: 8 May 2013 / Accepted: 13 May 2013 / Published: 24 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Nanoparticles 2013)
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As olfactory receptor axons grow from the peripheral to the central nervous system (CNS) aided by olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), the transplantation of OECs has been suggested as a plausible therapy for spinal cord lesions. The problem with this hypothesis is that OECs do not represent a single homogeneous entity, but, instead, a functionally heterogeneous population that exhibits a variety of responses, including adhesion and repulsion during cell-matrix interactions. Some studies report that the migratory properties of OECs are compromised by inhibitory molecules and potentiated by chemical gradients. In this paper, we report a system based on modified OECs carrying magnetic nanoparticles as a proof of concept experiment enabling specific studies aimed at exploring the potential of OECs in the treatment of spinal cord injuries. Our studies have confirmed that magnetized OECs (i) survive well without exhibiting stress-associated cellular responses; (ii) in vitro, their migration can be modulated by magnetic fields; and (iii) their transplantation in organotypic slices of spinal cord and peripheral nerve showed positive integration in the model. Altogether, these findings indicate the therapeutic potential of magnetized OECs for CNS injuries.
Keywords: nerve regeneration; olfactory ensheathing cell; magnetic nanoparticle; organotypic culture nerve regeneration; olfactory ensheathing cell; magnetic nanoparticle; organotypic culture
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.


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Riggio, C.; Nocentini, S.; Catalayud, M.P.; Goya, G.F.; Cuschieri, A.; Raffa, V.; del Río, J.A. Generation of Magnetized Olfactory Ensheathing Cells for Regenerative Studies in the Central and Peripheral Nervous Tissue. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 10852-10868.

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