Label-retaining, quiescent globose basal cells are found in the olfactory epithelium

Authors

  • Woochan Jang,

    1. Department of Developmental, Molecular, and Chemical Biology, School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Xueyan Chen,

    1. Department of Developmental, Molecular, and Chemical Biology, School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Program in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Daniel Flis,

    1. Department of Developmental, Molecular, and Chemical Biology, School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Margaret Harris,

    1. Department of Developmental, Molecular, and Chemical Biology, School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • James E. Schwob

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Developmental, Molecular, and Chemical Biology, School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Correspondence to: James E. Schwob, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Developmental, Molecular, and Chemical Biology, School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111. E-mail: jim.schwob@tufts.edu

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ABSTRACT

The vertebrate olfactory epithelium (OE) is known for its ability to renew itself throughout life as well as to reconstitute after injury. Although this remarkable capacity demonstrates the persistence of stem cells and multipotent progenitor cells, their nature in the OE remains undefined and controversial, as both horizontal basal cells (HBCs) and globose basal cells (GBCs) have features in common with each other and with stem cells in other tissues. Here, we investigate whether some among the population of GBCs satisfy a key feature of stem cells, i.e., mitotic quiescence with retention of thymidine analogue label and activation by injury. Accordingly, we demonstrate that some GBCs express p27Kip1, a member of the Kip/Cip family of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. In addition, some GBCs retain bromodeoxyuridine or ethynyldeoxyuridine for an extended period when the pulse is administered in neonates followed by a 1-month chase. Their identity as GBCs was confirmed by electron microscopy. All spared GBCs express Ki-67 in the methyl bromide (MeBr)-lesioned OE initially after lesion, indicating that the label-retaining (LR) GBCs are activated in response to injury. LR-GBCs reappear during the acute recovery period following MeBr exposure, as demonstrated with 2- or 4-week chase periods after labeling. Taken together, our data demonstrate the existence of LR-GBCs that are seemingly activated in response to epithelial injury and then re-established after the initial phase of recovery is completed. In this regard, some among the GBCs satisfy a common criterion for functioning like stem cells. J. Comp. Neurol. 522:731–749, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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