The growth and guidance of primary olfactory axons are partly attributed to the presence of olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs). However, little is understood about the differences between the subpopulations of OECs and what regulates their interactions. We used OEC-axon assays and determined that axons respond differently to peripheral and central OECs. We then further purified OECs from anatomically distinct regions of the olfactory bulb. Cell behaviour assays revealed that OECs from the olfactory bulb were a functionally heterogeneous population with distinct differences which is consistent with their proposed roles in vivo. We found that the heterogeneity was regulated by motile lamellipodial waves along the shaft of the OECs and that inhibition of lamellipodial wave activity via Mek1 abolished the ability of the cells to distinguish between each other. These results demonstrate that OECs from the olfactory bulb are a heterogeneous population that use lamellipodial waves to regulate cell–cell recognition.
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This work was supported by a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council to J.S. and B.K. (grant number 511006), by funding to the National Centre for Adult Stem Cell Research from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aging (A.M.S.) and by an Australian Postgraduate Award to L.W.
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Windus, L.C.E., Lineburg, K.E., Scott, S.E. et al. Lamellipodia mediate the heterogeneity of central olfactory ensheathing cell interactions. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 67, 1735–1750 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-010-0280-3
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