Session: 2

PS2-18 | Role of connexin 43 from olfactory ensheathing glia on olfactory nerve repair.



Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) are specialized glia forming connexin 43 (Cx43)-mediated networks whose processes surround olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) axons within the olfactory nerve and throughout the olfactory bulb (OB) surface. OEC neurotrophic properties are well documented, however approaches using in vivo selective manipulations to address their role in neurogenesis and integration of OSNs remain scarce. Our hypothesis is that Cx43 is necessary for the full expression of OEC neurotrophic properties and modulates the incorporation of new OSNs to the olfactory circuit. Our goal is to determine the effect of reducing the expression of glial Cx43 on the incorporation of new OSNs to the olfactory circuit, in a model of olfactory nerve damage. To do this, we will evaluate the generation, maturation and integration of OSNs by immunohistochemistry using markers of proliferation, maturity and functional connectivity in mice genetically modified to reduce the expression of Cx43 in OECs. According to our hypothesis, we expect a decrease in cell proliferation, as well as a delay in the maturation of OSNs, in Cx43-deficient mice. Furthermore, we expect to observe indicators of deficient innervation of the OB associated with the lack of Cx43. The relevance of this study lies in its contribution to identify mechanisms underlying OEC neurotrophic properties, relevant for the development of therapies for traumatic or degenerative pathologies of the nervous system.