Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sensory cells for hearing and balance are fast-developing, UVA researchers find

15.09.2003


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. That’s why this research is so central to our knowledge."


The next challenge for scientists is to discover the molecular "switches" that turn on inner ear hair cells. "Scientists at U.Va. and elsewhere are working to test stem cells to see if they can develop into hair cells," Holt said. "If we can find the molecular process, we can potentially turn another cell type into an inner ear hair cell." The researchers said they are now assembling a list of processes these important cells go through to develop correctly. "We know the sequence," said study co-author Gwénaëlle Géléoc, an assistant professor of neuroscience and otolaryngology. "Now we can look at different cell types and see if they are on the right track to produce hair cells."

In the lab, Holt and Géléoc found that hair cell transduction in mice, or the response to movement of hair bundles associated with hearing, begins to function over a 24 hours period, starting at embryonic day 16.

Interestingly, all three essential elements develop simultaneously: membrane-bound transduction channels, like trap doors, are formed to carry calcium and potassium which together create an electrical charge sending hearing and balance signals to the brain; microscopic tip-links are formed that operate under tension to open the trap door channel; finally, tiny adaptation motors are formed that regulate sensitivity and allow sounds that range from a faint whisper to a booming cannon to be heard.

The authors of the study said their work may mean a better understanding of congenital hearing and balance deficits in humans.

Bob Beard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://hsc.virginia.edu/news

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Colorectal cancer risk factors decrypted
13.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

nachricht Algae Have Land Genes
13.07.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>