Rabbit Vomeronasal Organ-Derivered Cells Have Mesenchymal Profile and Neuronal Commitment

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Rodrigo S. N. Barreto; Franceliusa Delys de Oliveira; Gustavo de Sá Schiavo Matias; Marcio N. Rodrigues; Rafael C. Carvalho; André Luis R. Franciolli; Paula Fratini & Maria Angelica Miglino


The vomeronasal organ (VNO) is an accessory organ involved on the olfactory pathway, that detects pheromones and emits signals in order to modulate social and reproductive behavior. The VNO stem cells replace neurons throughout life. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize cells derived from the vomeronasal organ from New Zealand rabbits. Five male rabbits with 120 days were used for cell isolation and culture. Results: VNO-derived cells presented labelling for proliferation (PCNA), undifferentiated profile (Nanog), neuronal (GFAP), mesenchymal stem cells (CD73, CD90 and CD105 and Stro-1). Also, presence of cytoskeletal (Vimentin, b-tubulin and CK-18) and absence of hematopoietic markers (CD34, CD117 and CD45) both by immunofluorescence and flow cytometry. By PCR it was possible to verify the expression of some undifferentiated profile (Oct-4), neuronal (Nestin) and mesenchymal (CD73, CD105 and Vimentin) genes. Functionally, VNO-derived cells differentiate in vitro into adipocytes, osteocytes and chondrocytes, and presented no tumorigenic potential when injected to Balb/c nu/nu mice. In conclusion, the rabbit VNO-derived cells have a profile that could be supportive to VNO olfactory/neuroreceptor epithelium by delivering factors to epithelial turnover or even by differentiation into epithelial cells to replacement of commissural epithelium.

KEY WORDS: Olfactory System; Olfactory epithelium; Olfactory bulb; Neuronal stem cells.

How to cite this article

BARRETO, R. S. N.; DE OLIVEIRA, F. D.; MATIAS, G. S. S.; RODRIGUES, M. N.; CARVALHO, R. C.; FRANCIOLLI, A. L. R.; FRATINI, P. & MIGLINO, M. A. Rabbit vomeronasal organ-derivered cells have mesenchymal profile and neuronal commitment. Int. J. Morphol., 38(5):1463-1472, 2020.