Isolation and characterization of olfactory ecto-mesenchymal stem cells from eight mammalian genera


  • Veron Antoine
  • Bienboire-Frosini Cécile
  • Feron François
  • Codecasa Elisa
  • Deveze Arnaud
  • Royer Dany
  • Watelet Paul
  • Asproni Pietro
  • Sadelli Kevin
  • Chabaud Camille
  • Stamegna Jean-Claude
  • Fagot Joël R
  • Khrestchatisky Michel
  • Cozzi Alessandro
  • Roman François S.
  • Pageat Patrick
  • Mengoli Manuel
  • Girard Stephane


Background: Stem cell-based therapies are an attractive option to promote regeneration and repair defective tissues and organs. Thanks to their multipotency, high proliferation rate and the lack of major ethical limitations, "olfactory ecto-mesenchymal stem cells" (OE-MSCs) have been described as a promising candidate to treat a variety of damaged tissues. Easily accessible in the nasal cavity of most mammals, these cells are highly suitable for autologous cell-based therapies and do not face issues associated with other stem cells. However, their clinical use in humans and animals is limited due to a lack of preclinical studies on autologous transplantation and because no well-established methods currently exist to cultivate these cells. Here we evaluated the feasibility of collecting, purifying and amplifying OE-MSCs from different mammalian genera with the goal of promoting their interest in veterinary regenerative medicine. Biopsies of olfactory mucosa from eight mammalian genera (mouse, rat, rabbit, sheep, dog, horse, gray mouse lemur and macaque) were collected, using techniques derived from those previously used in humans and rats. The possibility of amplifying these cells and their stemness features and differentiation capability were then evaluated. Results: Biopsies were successfully performed on olfactory mucosa without requiring the sacrifice of the donor animal, except mice. Cell populations were rapidly generated from olfactory mucosa explants. These cells displayed similar key features of their human counterparts: a fibroblastic morphology, a robust expression of nestin, an ability to form spheres and similar expression of surface markers (CD44, CD73). Moreover, most of them also exhibited high proliferation rates and clonogenicity with genus-specific properties. Finally, OE-MSCs also showed the ability to differentiate into mesodermal lineages. Conclusions: This article describes for the first time how millions of OE-MSCs can be quickly and easily obtained from different mammalian genera through protocols that are well-suited for autologous transplantations. Moreover, their multipotency makes them relevant to evaluate therapeutic application in a wide variety of tissue injury models. This study paves the way for the development of new fundamental and clinical studies based on OE-MSCs transplantation and suggests their interest in veterinary medicine.

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