[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The sensory neurons that subserve olfaction, olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), are regenerated throughout life, making the neuroepithelium in which they reside [the olfactory epithelium (OE)] an excellent model for studying how intrinsic and extrinsic factors regulate stem cell dynamics and neurogenesis during development and regeneration. Numerous studies indicate that transcription factors and signaling molecules together regulate generation of ORNs from stem and progenitor cells during development, and work on regenerative neurogenesis indicates that these same factors may operate at postnatal ages as well. This review describes our current knowledge of the identity of the OE neural stem cell; the different cell types that are thought to be the progeny (directly or indirectly) of this stem cell; and the factors that influence cell differentiation in the OE neuronal lineage. We review data suggesting that (1) the ORN lineage contains three distinct proliferating cell types--a stem cell and two populations of transit amplifying cells; (2) in established OE, these three cell types are present within the basal cell compartment of the epithelium; and (3) the stem cell that gives rise ultimately to ORNs may also generate two glial cell types of the primary olfactory pathway: sustentacular cells (SUS), which lie within OE proper; and olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC), which envelope the olfactory nerve. In addition, we describe factors that are both made by and found within the microenvironment of OE stem and progenitor cells, and which exert crucial growth regulatory effects on these cells. Thus, as with other regenerating tissues, the basis of regeneration in the OE appears be a population of stem cells, which resides within a microenvironment (niche) consisting of factors crucial for maintenance of its capacity for proliferation and differentiation.
Experimental Cell Research 07/2005; 306(2):309-16. · 3.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand how signaling molecules regulate the generation of neurons from proliferating stem cells and neuronal progenitors in the developing and regenerating nervous system, we have studied neurogenesis in a model neurogenic epithelium, the olfactory epithelium (OE) of the mouse. Our studies have employed a candidate approach to test signaling molecules of potential importance in regulating neurogenesis and have utilized methods that include tissue culture, in situ hybridization and mouse genetics. Using these approaches, we have identified three distinct stages of stem and transit amplifying progenitor cells in the differentiation pathway of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) and have identified mechanisms by which the development of each of these progenitor cell types is regulated by signals produced both within the OE itself and by its underlying stroma. Our results indicate that regulation of olfactory neurogenesis is critically dependent on multiple signaling molecules from two different polypeptide growth factor superfamilies, the fibroblast growth factors and the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) group. In addition, they indicate that these signaling molecules interact in at least two important ways: first, opposing signals converge on cells at specific developmental stages in the ORN pathway to regulate proliferation and differentiation; and second, these signaling molecules--particularly the TGF-betas and their antagonists--play key roles in feedback loops that regulate the size of progenitor cell pools and thereby neuron number, during development and regeneration.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The olfactory epithelium of the mouse has many properties that make it an ideal system for studying the molecular regulation of neurogenesis. We have used a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches to identify three distinct stages of neuronal progenitors in the olfactory receptor neuron lineage. The neuronal stem cell, which is ultimately responsible for continual neuron renewal in this system, gives rise to a transit amplifying progenitor identified by its expression of a transcription factor, MASH1. The MASH1-expressing progenitor gives rise to a second transit amplifying progenitor, the Immediate Neuronal Precursor, which is distinct from the stem cell and MASH1-expressing progenitor, and gives rise quantitatively to olfactory receptor neurons. Regulation of progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation occurs at each of these three cell stages, and growth factors of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) families appear to play particularly important roles in these processes. Analyses of the actions of FGFs and BMPs reveal that negative signaling plays at least as important a role as positive signaling in the regulation of olfactory neurogenesis.
Microscopy Research and Technique 09/2002; 58(3):176-88. · 1.59 Impact Factor