Canine dorsal root ganglia satellite glial cells represent an exceptional cell population with astrocytic and oligodendrocytic properties

Sci Rep. 2017 Oct 24;7(1):13915. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-14246-7.


Dogs can be used as a translational animal model to close the gap between basic discoveries in rodents and clinical trials in humans. The present study compared the species-specific properties of satellite glial cells (SGCs) of canine and murine dorsal root ganglia (DRG) in situ and in vitro using light microscopy, electron microscopy, and immunostainings. The in situ expression of CNPase, GFAP, and glutamine synthetase (GS) has also been investigated in simian SGCs. In situ, most canine SGCs (>80%) expressed the neural progenitor cell markers nestin and Sox2. CNPase and GFAP were found in most canine and simian but not murine SGCs. GS was detected in 94% of simian and 71% of murine SGCs, whereas only 44% of canine SGCs expressed GS. In vitro, most canine (>84%) and murine (>96%) SGCs expressed CNPase, whereas GFAP expression was differentially affected by culture conditions and varied between 10% and 40%. However, GFAP expression was induced by bone morphogenetic protein 4 in SGCs of both species. Interestingly, canine SGCs also stimulated neurite formation of DRG neurons. These findings indicate that SGCs represent an exceptional, intermediate glial cell population with phenotypical characteristics of oligodendrocytes and astrocytes and might possess intrinsic regenerative capabilities in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / cytology*
  • Dogs
  • Ganglia, Spinal / cytology*
  • Mice
  • Oligodendroglia / cytology*