open accessSpiral 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.

Author, Marc Diensthuber of Goethe-University (Frankfurt, Germany), and his co-authors from Justus-Liebig University (Giessen, Germany), Harvard Medical School (Cambridge University), Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard University, and MIT, 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 inner ear. Their findings are published in the article, “Spiral Ganglion Stem Cells Can Be Propagated and Differentiated Into Neurons and Glia,”? in BioResearch Open Access, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc, publishers.

“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.”

Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc