Nasal olfactory ensheathing cells
transplants assist recovery after spinal cord injury, including complete transaction (34,35) and there is evidence that adult olfactory tissue is effective when transplanted one month after spinal cord transaction in the rat (36).
Identification of a human olfactory ensheathing cell
that can effect transplant-mediated remyelination of demyelinated CNS axons.
Cochrane et al., "Autologous olfactory ensheathing cell
transplantation in human paraplegia: a 3-year clinical trial," Brain, vol.
The team is one of many worldwide that are experimenting with olfactory ensheathing cells
, which can be harvested from the lining of the nose.
A unique cell type that supports and surrounds (ensheathes) neurons within the nose (olfactory system) known as olfactory ensheathing cells
(OECs), that can be used for transplantation, can apparently repair a number of lesions in the central nervous system (CNS).
This is because, unlike most cells in the body, the olfactory ensheathing cells
(OEC) continue to regenerate.
The cells, called olfactory ensheathing cells
, connect the lining of the nose with the brain, giving us our sense of smell.
An Australian team led by Alan Mackay-Sim of Griffith University is also testing use of these cells (known as olfactory ensheathing cells
) to treat paralysis in several patients.
During the 8-hour procedure, the team transplanted olfactory ensheathing cells
(OECs) from inside the nose into the spinal cord of a volunteer paraplegic patient.
Because olfactory tissue is exposed to the air we breathe, it contains cells with considerable turnover potential, including renewable neurons, stem cells, and olfactory ensheathing cells
Maksymowicz, "Therapeutic Potential of Olfactory Ensheathing Cells
and Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Spinal Cord Injuries," Stem Cells International, vol.
In another strategy, they investigated the ability of special nurse-like cells called olfactory ensheathing cells
to prevent the death of neurons that follows axonal injury.