Olfactory ensheathing cells: Biology in neural development and regeneration

Zhida Su, Cheng He

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) constitute a unique population of glia that accompany and ensheath the primary olfactory axons. They are thought to be critical for spontaneous growth of olfactory axons within the developing and adult olfactory nervous system, and have recently emerged as potential candidates for cell-mediated repair of neural injuries. Here, based on the current research, we give an overview of the biology of OECs in neural development and regeneration. This review starts with a detailed description of the cellular and molecular biological properties of OECs. Their functions in olfactory neurogenesis, olfactory axonal growth and olfactory bulb formation are sequently discussed. We also describe therapeutic applications of OECs for the treatment of a variety of neural lesions, including spinal cord injury, stroke, degenerative diseases, and PNS injuries. Finally, we address issues that may foster a better understanding of OECs in neural development and regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-532
Number of pages16
JournalProgress in Neurobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Glial cells
  • Neural injury
  • Olfactory development
  • Olfactory ensheathing cells
  • Regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Olfactory ensheathing cells: Biology in neural development and regeneration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this