Inner ear stem cells hold promise for restoring hearing

June 21, 2014

Spiral ganglion cells are essential for hearing and their irreversible degeneration in the inner ear is common in most types of hearing loss. Adult spiral ganglion cells are not able to regenerate. However, new evidence in a mouse model shows that spiral ganglion stem cells present in the inner ear are capable of self-renewal and can be grown and induced to differentiate into mature spiral ganglion cells as well as neurons and glial cells, as described in an article in BioResearch Open Access.

Marc Diensthuber and coauthors from Goethe-University (Frankfurt, Germany), Justus-Liebig University (Giessen, Germany), Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (Boston, MA), and Harvard University and MIT (Cambridge, MA), conclude that the self-renewing properties demonstrated by spiral ganglion stem cells make them a promising source of replacement cells for therapies designed to regenerate the neural structures of the in the article "Spiral Ganglion Stem Cells Can Be Propagated and Differentiated Into Neurons and Glia."

"These findings are particularly interesting as they show that spiral ganglion stem cells can be propagated in vitro," says BioResearch Open Access Editor Jane Taylor, PhD, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. "These cells are normally poorly regenerated in the mammalian ear."

Explore further: Researchers identify protein needed to develop auditory neurons

More information: The article is available free on the BioResearch Open Access website.

Related Stories

A new step towards the understanding of hearing

February 18, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—The results published in Nature Communications enables us to consider eventual therapeutic strategies to restore the sensorial innervation of the cochlea, an organ essential to hearing.

Recommended for you

Basic research fuels advanced discovery

August 26, 2016

Clinical trials and translational medicine have certainly given people hope and rapid pathways to cures for some of mankind's most troublesome diseases, but now is not the time to overlook the power of basic research, says ...

New method creates endless supply of kidney precursor cells

August 25, 2016

Salk Institute scientists have discovered the holy grail of endless youthfulness—at least when it comes to one type of human kidney precursor cell. Previous attempts to maintain cultures of the so-called nephron progenitor ...

New avenue for understanding cause of common diseases

August 25, 2016

A ground-breaking Auckland study could lead to discoveries about many common diseases such as diabetes, cancer and dementia. The new finding could also illuminate the broader role of the enigmatic mitochondria in human development.

Strict diet combats rare progeria aging disorders

August 25, 2016

Mice with a severe aging disease live three times longer if they eat thirty percent less. Moreover, they age much healthier than mice that eat as much as they want. These are findings of a joint study being published today ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.