Anat Rec 2003 Mar;271B(1):49-60
Boyd JG, Skihar V, Kawaja M, Doucette R.
Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) are the glial cells that ensheath the axons of the first cranial nerve.
They are attracting increasing attention from neuroscientists as potential therapeutic agents for use in the repair of spinal cord injury and as a source of myelinating glia for use in remyelinating axons in demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
This review mainly addresses the cell biological aspects of OECs pertinent to addressing two questions.
Namely, where do OECs fit into the groupings of central nervous system (CNS)/peripheral nervous system (PNS) glial cells and should OECs be viewed as a clinically relevant alternative to Schwann cells in the treatment of spinal cord injury?
The evidence indicates that OECs are indeed a clinically relevant alternative to Schwann cells.
However, much more work needs to be done before we can even come close to answering the first question as to the lineage and functional relationship of OECs to the other types of CNS and PNS glial cells.