Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor promotes olfactory ensheathing cells migration

Li Cao, Zhida Su, Qiang Zhou, Baolai Lv, Xiujie Liu, Li Jiao, Zhihua Li, Yanling Zhu, Zhihui Huang, Aijun Huang, Cheng He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) are a unique type of macroglia with axonal growth-promoting properties. The migrating ability of OECs in CNS is essential for neural regeneration. However, little is known about the extracellular and intracellular factors that regulate OEC migration. In the present study, we examined the effects of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) on OECs migration. Initially, the "scratch" migration assay, Boyden chamber assay, and explant migration assay showed that GDNF could promote OECs migration in vitro. Treatment of OECs with GDNF also induced cytoskeleton reorganization and up-regulated expression of cytoskeleton proteins. GDNF-induced OECs migration was demonstrated depending on GFRα-1 and Ret receptor, and activation of JNK and Src signaling cascades. Furthermore, GDNF was found to promote implanted OECs migration in a spinal cord hemisection injury model. Together, we report, to our knowledge for the first time, that GDNF stimulate OECs migration in vitro and in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-544
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • GDNF
  • Migration
  • Neural regeneration
  • Olfactory ensheathing cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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