The functional development of hair cells in the inner ear that mediate hearing and balance takes place over a period of just one day in mouse embryos, according to a study by a research team at the University of Virginia Health System.
The U.Va. scientists found that three essential elements for development in the mouse inner ear appear between day 16 and day 17 of gestation, roughly equivalent to the late second trimester or early third trimester in the human fetus. The finding is important for ongoing research on regeneration of sensory hair cells in the human inner ear, say researchers, writing in the October edition of Nature Neuroscience, found online at www.nature.com/neuro.
"We were surprised that development of hair cells in the inner ear takes place so rapidly," said researcher Jeffrey R. Holt, an assistant professor of neuroscience and otolaryngology at U.Va. "Suddenly, the hair cells began working. To eventually discover how to regenerate hair cells in the human ear, we have to know when and how the original hair cells develop. Thats why this research is so central to our knowledge."
Bob Beard | EurekAlert!
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