The neural stem cells (NSCs) residing in the olfactory epithelium (OE) regenerate damaged olfactory sensory neurons throughout adulthood. The accessibility and availability of these NSCs in living individuals, including humans, makes them a promising candidate for harvesting their potential for cell replacement therapies. However, this requires an in-depth understanding of their developmental potential after grafting. Here, we investigated the developmental potential and plasticity of mouse OE-derived NSCs after grafting into the adult subventricular zone (SVZ) neurogenic niche. Our results showed that OE-derived NSCs integrate and proliferate just like endogenous SVZ stem cells, migrate with similar dynamics as endogenous neuroblasts toward the olfactory bulb, and mature and acquire similar electrophysiological properties as endogenous adult-born bulbar interneurons. These results reveal the developmental potential and plasticity of OE-derived NSCs in vivo and show that they can respond to heterotopic neurogenic cues to adapt their phenotype and become functional neurons in ectopic brain regions.
Keywords: adult neurogenesis; heterotopic grafting; morpho-functional characterization; neural stem cells; neuronal maturation; neuronal migration; olfactory bulb; olfactory epithelium; stem cells transplantation; subventricular zone.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.