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Expression of alpha 7 integrin mediates the effects of laminin on Olfactory Ensheathing Cells

  • Author(s): Ingram, Norianne Theresa
  • Advisor(s): Phelps, Patricia E
  • et al.
Abstract

Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) are unique glia found only in the olfactory system. OECs support neuronal turnover and axon outgrowth in adults and represent a promising cell-transplantation candidate for spinal cord injury repair. Current mechanistic hypotheses are based on the ability of OECs to stimulate neuronal outgrowth via both secreted and cell-contact mediated effects. Laminin is reported to stimulate the growth promoting abilities of OECs, and this study askes if OECs react to laminin using integrin receptors to enhance their function. We focus on the alpha 7 integrin that is expressed by Schwann cells and implicated in peripheral nerve regeneration. Here we ask if adult OECs express alpha 7 integrin and if the presence of alpha 7 integrin mediates the OEC response on laminin by increasing their motility. We found that alpha 7 integrin colocalized with established OEC markers, SOX10, S100, and Aquaporin1. When adult OEC motility on laminin was tested, twice as many wildtype OECs migrated on laminin compared to alpha 7 mutant OECs. These results show that alpha 7 integrin mediates the OEC substrate preference for laminin, the first demonstration of a functional role for alpha 7 integrin in OECs.

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