Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sound-sensing cells regenerated in ears of mice with hearing damage

Date:
February 20, 2014
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
For years, scientists have thought that sound-sensing hair cells in the inner ear are not replaced once they're lost, but new research reveals that supporting cells in the ear can turn into hair cells in newborn mice. If the findings can be applied to older animals, they may lead to ways to help stimulate cell replacement in adults and to the design of treatment strategies for people suffering from deafness due to hair cell loss.

If the findings can be applied to older animals, they may lead to ways to help stimulate cell replacement in adults and to the design of new treatment strategies for people suffering from deafness due to hair cell loss.
Credit: Den / Fotolia

One of the major causes of hearing loss in mammals is damage to the sound-sensing hair cells in the inner ear. For years, scientists have thought that these cells are not replaced once they're lost, but new research appearing online February 20 in the journal Stem Cell Reports reveals that supporting cells in the ear can turn into hair cells in newborn mice. If the findings can be applied to older animals, they may lead to ways to help stimulate cell replacement in adults and to the design of new treatment strategies for people suffering from deafness due to hair cell loss.

Whereas previous research indicated that hair cells are not replaced, this latest study found that replacement does indeed occur, but at very low levels. "The finding that newborn hair cells regenerate spontaneously is novel," says senior author Dr. Albert Edge of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

The team's previous research revealed that inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway increases hair cell differentiation and can help restore hearing to mice with noise-induced deafness. In their latest work, the investigators found that blocking the Notch pathway increases the formation of new hair cells not from remaining hair cells but from certain nearby supporting cells that express a protein called Lgr5.

"By using an inhibitor of Notch signaling, we could push even more cells to differentiate into hair cells," says Dr. Edge. "It was surprising that the Lgr5-expressing cells were the only supporting cells that differentiated under these conditions."

Combining this new knowledge about Lgr5-expressing cells with the previous finding that Notch inhibition can regenerate hair cells will allow the scientists to design new hair cell regeneration strategies to treat hearing loss and deafness.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Naomi F. Bramhall, Fuxin Shi, Katrin Arnold, Konrad Hochedlinger, Albert S.B. Edge. Lgr5-Positive Supporting Cells Generate New Hair Cells in the Postnatal Cochlea. Stem Cell Reports, February 2014 DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.01.008

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Sound-sensing cells regenerated in ears of mice with hearing damage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220132156.htm>.
Cell Press. (2014, February 20). Sound-sensing cells regenerated in ears of mice with hearing damage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220132156.htm
Cell Press. "Sound-sensing cells regenerated in ears of mice with hearing damage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220132156.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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