Effect of olfactory ensheathing cells on reactive astrocytes in vitro
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Olfactory ensheathing cells have been used in several studies to promote repair in the injured spinal cord. However, cellular interaction between olfactory ensheathing cells and glial cells induced to be reactive in the aftermath of injury site has not been investigated. Using an in vitro model of astrogliosis, we show that reactive astrocytes expressed significantly less glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) when cultured both in direct contact with olfactory ensheathing cells and when the two cell types were separated by a porous membrane. Immunofluorescence staining also suggested that reactive astrocytes showed decreased chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in the presence of olfactory ensheathing cells, although the reduction was not statistically significant. No down-regulation of GFAP was observed when reactive astrocytes were similarly cultured with Schwann cells. Cell viability assay and bromodeoxyuridine uptake showed that proliferation of reactive astrocytes was significantly increased in the presence of olfactory ensheathing cells and Schwann cells.