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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 287; doi:10.3390/ijms18020287

The Glia Response after Peripheral Nerve Injury: A Comparison between Schwann Cells and Olfactory Ensheathing Cells and Their Uses for Neural Regenerative Therapies

Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Nathan QLD 4111, Australia
Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology & Stem Cell Research, Griffith University, Nathan QLD 4111, Australia
Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD 4111, Australia
Faculty of Health and Medical Science, Bond University, Robina, QLD 4226, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Xiaofeng Jia
Received: 4 December 2016 / Revised: 14 January 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 29 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peripheral Nerve Regeneration: From Bench to Bedside)
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The peripheral nervous system (PNS) exhibits a much larger capacity for regeneration than the central nervous system (CNS). One reason for this difference is the difference in glial cell types between the two systems. PNS glia respond rapidly to nerve injury by clearing debris from the injury site, supplying essential growth factors and providing structural support; all of which enhances neuronal regeneration. Thus, transplantation of glial cells from the PNS is a very promising therapy for injuries to both the PNS and the CNS. There are two key types of PNS glia: olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), which populate the olfactory nerve, and Schwann cells (SCs), which are present in the rest of the PNS. These two glial types share many similar morphological and functional characteristics but also exhibit key differences. The olfactory nerve is constantly turning over throughout life, which means OECs are continuously stimulating neural regeneration, whilst SCs only promote regeneration after direct injury to the PNS. This review presents a comparison between these two PNS systems in respect to normal physiology, developmental anatomy, glial functions and their responses to injury. A thorough understanding of the mechanisms and differences between the two systems is crucial for the development of future therapies using transplantation of peripheral glia to treat neural injuries and/or disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: nerve-injury; nerve-regeneration; Schwann-cell; olfactory-ensheathing-cell; Glia nerve-injury; nerve-regeneration; Schwann-cell; olfactory-ensheathing-cell; Glia

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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Barton, M.J.; John, J.S.; Clarke, M.; Wright, A.; Ekberg, J. The Glia Response after Peripheral Nerve Injury: A Comparison between Schwann Cells and Olfactory Ensheathing Cells and Their Uses for Neural Regenerative Therapies. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 287.

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