He, C (reprint author), Zhejiang Univ, Sch Med, Dept Neurobiol, Inst Neurosci, Hangzhou 310058, Zhejiang, Peoples R China,email@example.com
Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) are a unique type of glial cells that have axonal growth-promoting properties. OEC transplantation has emerged as a promising experimental therapy of axonal injuries and demyelinating diseases. However, some fundamental cellular properties of OECs remain unclear. In this study, we found that the distinct OEC subpopulations exhibited different migratory properties based on time-lapse imaging of single isolated cells, possibly due to their different cytoskeletal organizations. Moreover, OEC subpopulations displayed different attractive migratory responses to a gradient of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) in single-cell migration assays. Finally, we found that OEC subpopulations transformed into each other spontaneously. Together, these results demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, that distinct OEC subpopulations display different migratory properties in vitro and provide new evidence to support the notion of OECs as a single cell type with malleable functional phenotypes.