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Publications (3)14.55 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Olfactory ensheathing glia (OEG) cells are known to facilitate repair following axotomy of adult neurons, although the molecular mechanisms involved are not fully understood. We previously identified plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), proteinase-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1), and thrombomodulin (TM) as candidates to regulate rat OEG-dependent axonal regeneration. In this study, we have validated the involvement of these proteins in promoting axonal regeneration by immortalized human OEGs. We studied the effect of silencing these proteins in OEGs on their capacity to promote the regeneration of severed adult retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) axons. Our results support the role of glial PAI-1 as a downstream effector of PAR-1 in promoting axon regeneration. In contrast, we found that TM inhibits OEG induced-axonal regeneration. We also assessed the signaling pathways downstream of PAR-1 that might modulate PAI-1 expression, observing that specifically inhibiting Gα(i), Rho kinase, or PLC and PKC downregulated the expression of PAI-1 in OEGs, with a concomitant reduction in OEG-dependent axon regeneration in adult RGCs. Our findings support an important role for the thrombin system in regulating adult axonal regeneration by OEGs.
    Glia 05/2011; 59(10):1458-71. · 5.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ensheathing glia have been demonstrated to have neuroregenerative properties but this cell type from human sources has not been extensively studied because tissue samples are not easily obtained, primary cultures are slow growing, and human cell lines are not available. We previously isolated immortalized ensheathing glia by gene transfer of BMI1 and telomerase catalytic subunit into primary cultures derived from olfactory bulbs of an elderly human cadaver donor. These cells escape the replicative senescence characteristic of primary human cells while conserving antigenic and neuroregenerative properties of ensheathing glia, but their low proliferative rate in culture complicates their utility as cell models and their application for preclinical cell therapy experiments. In this study we describe the use of a conditional SV40 T antigen (TAg) transgene to generate human ensheathing glia cell lines, which are easy to maintain due to their robust growth in culture. Although these fast growing clones exhibited polyploid karyotypes frequently observed in cells immortalized by TAg, they did not acquire a transformed phenotype, all of them maintaining neuroregenerative capacity and antigenic markers typical of ensheathing glia. These markers were also retained even after elimination of the TAg transgene using Cre/LoxP technology, although the cells died shortly after, confirming that their survival depended on the presence of the immortalizing genes. We have also demonstrated here the feasibility of using these human cell lines in animal models by genetically marking the cells with GFP and implanting them into the injured spinal cord of immunosuppressed rats. Our conditionally immortalized human ensheathing glia cell lines will thus serve as useful tools for advancing cell therapy approaches and understanding neuroregenerative mechanisms of this unique cell type.
    Cell Transplantation 01/2011; 20(2):153-66. · 4.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A continuous normal function of olfactory ensheathing glia (OEG) is to promote axonal regeneration from the olfactory neuroepithelium to the brain, and their neuroregenerative potential in other CNS sites such as the injured spinal cord has been studied for over a decade. However, human OEG are difficult to obtain in large amounts directly from tissues, and the derived primary cultures have a limited duplication capacity. Thus, although auto-transplantation may be an obvious option for initial proof-of-concept trials, alternatives must be explored to obtain large quantities of homogeneous, pre-characterized OEG for wide-scale therapeutic use. We have cultured primary human OEG derived from olfactory bulbs (OB) obtained by necropsy and successfully extended the replicative lifespan of these cells using lentivectors encoding Bmi-1 and TERT transgenes flanked by loxP sites. In contrast to the primary cells which could only be expanded for a limited number of passages (approximately 12), adult human OEG immortalized Bmi-1/TERT divided indefinitely in culture. Clonal lines were isolated and the floxed transgenes could be excised by lentivector-mediated Cre recombinase delivery. Primary, immortalized, and deimmortalized human OEG all expressed typical markers of this cell type and importantly, were all able to promote axonal regeneration of adult rat retinal ganglion neurons (RGN) in co-culture assays.
    Glia 11/2009; 58(5):546-58. · 5.07 Impact Factor