Evidence for a Notch1-mediated transition during olfactory ensheathing cell development.


Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) are a unique glial population found in both the peripheral and central nervous system: they ensheath bundles of unmyelinated olfactory axons from their peripheral origin in the olfactory epithelium to their central synaptic targets in the glomerular layer of the olfactory bulb. Like all other peripheral glia (Schwann cells, satellite glia, enteric glia), OECs are derived from the embryonic neural crest. However, in contrast to Schwann cells, whose development has been extensively characterised, relatively little is known about their normal development in vivo. In the Schwann cell lineage, the transition from multipotent Schwann cell precursor to immature Schwann cell is promoted by canonical Notch signalling. Here, in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry data from chicken, mouse and human embryos are presented that suggest a canonical Notch-mediated transition also occurs during OEC development.