Characterisation of Neurospheres-Derived Cells from Human Olfactory Epithelium

Cells. 2021 Jul 4;10(7):1690. doi: 10.3390/cells10071690.


A major problem in psychiatric research is a deficit of relevant cell material of neuronal origin, especially in large quantities from living individuals. One of the promising options is cells from the olfactory neuroepithelium, which contains neuronal progenitors that ensure the regeneration of olfactory receptors. These cells are easy to obtain with nasal biopsies and it is possible to grow and cultivate them in vitro. In this work, we used RNAseq expression profiling and immunofluorescence microscopy to characterise neurospheres-derived cells (NDC), that simply and reliably grow from neurospheres (NS) obtained from nasal biopsies. We utilized differential expression analysis to explore the molecular changes that occur during transition from NS to NDC. We found that processes associated with neuronal and vascular cells are downregulated in NDC. A comparison with public transcriptomes revealed a depletion of neuronal and glial components in NDC. We also discovered that NDC have several metabolic features specific to neuronal progenitors treated with the fungicide maneb. Thus, while NDC retain some neuronal/glial identity, additional protocol alterations are needed to use NDC for mass sample collection in psychiatric research.

Keywords: RNA expres-sion; maneb; neuronal progenitors; olfactory ensheathing cells; olfactory epithelium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Ontology
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Olfactory Mucosa / cytology*
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Spheroids, Cellular / cytology*
  • Spheroids, Cellular / metabolism
  • Transcriptome / genetics


  • Biomarkers
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein