One of the essential parts of ear that play role in hearing is the group of nerve cells called spiral ganglion cells present in the inner ear. The function of these cells is to send a sound signal from ear to the brain.
Most of the hearing loss is attributed to the irreversible degeneration of these nerve cells. Adult spiral ganglion cells lack the ability to regenerate. However, a new evidence shows that hearing loss due to the above cause can be restored using the spiral ganglion stem cells in inner ear which 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.
The discovery is a milestone as spiral ganglion stem cells make a promising source of replacement cells for therapies. These regenerative cells can rejuvenate neural structures of the inner ear, and hence restore hearing loss.
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- Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
- Reference: Spiral Ganglion Stem Cells Can Be Propagated and Differentiated Into Neurons and Glia [BioResearch Open Access]
- Image: Depositphotos.com/andras_csontos