Tissue transglutaminase (TG2), a multifunctional enzyme implicated in cellular proliferation and differentiation processes, plays a modulatory role in the cell response to stressors. Herein, we used olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), representing an unusual population of glial cells to promote axonal regeneration and to provide trophic support, as well as to assess whether the effect of some Growth Factors (GFs), NGF, bFGF or GDNF, on TG2 overexpression induced by stress conditions, such as glutamate or lipopolysaccaride (LPS). Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) and vimentin were used as markers of astroglial differentiation and cytoskeleton component, respectively. Glutamate or LPS treatment induced a particular increase of TG2 expression. A pre-treatment of the cells with the GFs restored the levels of the protein to that of untreated ones. Our results demonstrate that the treatment of OECs with the GFs was able to restore the OECs oxidative status as modified by stress, also counteracting TG2 overexpression. It suggests that, in OECs, TG2 modulation or inhibition induced by GFs might represent a therapeutic target to control the excitotoxicity and/or inflammation, which are involved in several acute and chronic brain diseases.
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