Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Indiana University researchers closer to helping hearing-impaired using stem cells

30.03.2005


Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine are several steps closer to the day when a profoundly deaf patient’s own bone marrow cells could be used to let him or her hear the world.



The IU group, led by Eri Hashino, Ph.D., was able to transform, in the laboratory, stem cells taken from adult bone marrow into cells with many of the characteristics of sensory nerve cells -- neurons -- found in the ear. The results suggest that these adult stem cells could be used to treat deaf patients in the future, said Dr. Hashino, an associate professor and Ruth C. Holton Scholar in the Department of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

The cells used in the research are called marrow stromal cells -- a type of stem cell from which fat, bone and cartilage normally develop.


"We were interested in marrow stromal cells because of their potential for use in autologous cell-based therapy," said Dr. Hashino, referring to cell transplantation in which a patient’s own cells are used in treatment. The cells can be collected easily and kept alive in the laboratory until needed, she said.

Other researchers had previously shown that the marrow stromal cells could be induced to transform into neuronal cells, but it wasn’t clear whether, or how, the cells could be further transformed into useful specialized neurons.

In a two-step process, Dr. Hashino and her colleagues first cultivated mouse marrow stromal cells with chemicals known to encourage stems cells to change into primitive neurons. The bone marrow cells took the shape and other characteristics of neurons. Next, they exposed the cells to two molecules that are secreted from nearby tissues of the ear during embryonic development. The two molecules -- known as Sonic hedgehog and retinoic acid -- together caused the marrow stromal cells to further develop into cells with many of the characteristics of auditory neurons, such as the presence of specific genes and proteins.

Dr. Hashino said she and her colleagues are beginning new experiments to test the feasibility of marrow stromal cell transplantation to stimulate the growth of the nerve cells that are often missing from the inner ears of patients with profound hearing loss.

"Sonic hedgehog and retinoic acid are molecules found in embryonic tissues, but not in adult tissues," said Dr. Hashino. "This suggests that treating marrow-derived stem cells with these molecules before transplantation might greatly enhance the possibility that the process would result in development of specific sensory neurons."

Eric Schoch | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iupui.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>