Manipulating cell fate in the cochlea: A feasible therapy for hearing loss

Masato Fujioka, Hideyuki Okano, Albert S.B. Edge

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Mammalian auditory hair cells do not spontaneously regenerate, unlike hair cells in lower vertebrates, including fish and birds. In mammals, hearing loss due to the loss of hair cells is permanent and intractable. Recent studies in the mouse have demonstrated spontaneous hair cell regeneration during a short postnatal period, but this regenerative capacity is lost in the adult cochlea. Reduced regeneration coincides with a transition that results in a decreased pool of progenitor cells in the cochlear sensory epithelium. Here, we review the signaling cascades involved in hair cell formation and morphogenesis of the organ of Corti in developing mammals, the changing status of progenitor cells in the cochlea, and the regeneration of auditory hair cells in adult mammals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 1


  • Cell replacement
  • Hair cells
  • Hearing loss
  • Sensory systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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