Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Treatment For Hearing Loss? Scientists Grow Hair Cells Involved in Hearing

Date:
August 30, 2008
Source:
Oregon Health & Sciences University
Summary:
Scientists have successfully produced functional auditory hair cells in the cochlea of the mouse inner ear. The breakthrough suggests that a new therapy may be developed in the future to successfully treat hearing loss.

Scientists have successfully produced functional auditory hair cells in the cochlea of the mouse inner ear. The breakthrough suggests that a new therapy may be developed in the future to successfully treat hearing loss.
Credit: iStockphoto

Oregon Health & Science University scientists have successfully produced functional auditory hair cells in the cochlea of the mouse inner ear. The breakthrough suggests that a new therapy may be developed in the future to successfully treat hearing loss. The results of this research was recently published by the journal Nature.

Related Articles


“One approach to restore auditory function is to replace defective cells with healthy new cells,” said John Brigande, Ph.D., an assistant professor of otolaryngology at the Oregon Hearing Research Center in the OHSU School of Medicine. “Our work shows that it is possible to produce functional auditory hair cells in the mammalian cochlea.”

The researchers specifically focused on the tiny hair cells located in a portion of the ear’s cochlea called the organ of Corti. It has long been understood that as these hair cells die, hearing loss occurs. Throughout a person’s life, a certain number of these cells malfunction or die naturally leading to gradual hearing loss often witnessed in aging persons. Those who are exposed to loud noises for a prolonged period or suffer from certain diseases lose more sensory hair cells than average and therefore suffer from more pronounced hearing loss.

Brigande and his colleagues were able to produce hair cells by transferring a key gene, called Atoh1, into the developing inner ears of mice. The gene was inserted along with green florescent protein (GFP) which is the molecule that makes a species of jellyfish glow. GFP is often used in research as a “marker” that a scientist can use to determine, in this case, the exact location of the Atoh1 expression. Remarkably, the gene transfer technique resulted in Atoh1 expression in the organ of Corti, where the sensory hair cells form.

Using this method, the researchers were able to trace how the inserted genetic material successfully led to hair cell production resulting in the appearance of more hair cells than are typically located in the ears of early postnatal mice. Crucially, Dr. Anthony Ricci, associate professor of otolaryngology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, demonstrated that the hair cells have electrophysiological properties consistent with wild type or endogenous hair cells, meaning that the hair cells appear to be functional. Based on these data, the scientists concluded that Atoh1 expression generates functional auditory hair cells in the inner ear of newborn mammals.

“It remains to be determined whether gene transfer into a deaf mouse will lead to the production of healthy cells that enable hearing. However, we have made an important step toward defining an approach that may lead to therapeutic intervention for hearing loss,” Brigande said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Health & Sciences University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon Health & Sciences University. "Treatment For Hearing Loss? Scientists Grow Hair Cells Involved in Hearing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080830005613.htm>.
Oregon Health & Sciences University. (2008, August 30). Treatment For Hearing Loss? Scientists Grow Hair Cells Involved in Hearing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080830005613.htm
Oregon Health & Sciences University. "Treatment For Hearing Loss? Scientists Grow Hair Cells Involved in Hearing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080830005613.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins