Introduction: Pendred syndrome is an autosomal-recessive disease characterized by congenital hearing loss and thyroid goiter. Previously, cell stress susceptibilities were shown to increase in patient-derived cells with intracellular aggregation using an in vitro acute cochlear cell model derived from patient-specific pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Moreover, we showed that rapamycin can relieve cell death. However, studies regarding long-term cell survival without cell stressors that mimic the natural course of disease or the rational minimum concentration of rapamycin that prevents cell death are missing. Methods: In this report, we first investigated the rational minimum concentration of rapamycin using patient-specific iPS cells derived-cochlear cells with three different conditions of acute stress. We next confirmed the effects of rapamycin in long-term cell survival and phenotypes by using cochlear cells derived from three different patient-derived iPS cells. Results: We found that inner ear cells derived from Pendred syndrome patients are more vulnerable than those from healthy individuals during long-term culturing; however, this susceptibility was relieved via treatment with low-dose rapamycin. The slow progression of hearing loss in patients may be explained, in part, by the vulnerability observed in patient cells during long-term culturing. We successfully evaluated the rational minimum concentration of rapamycin for treatment of Pendred syndrome. Conclusion: Our results suggest that low-dose rapamycin not only decreases acute symptoms but may prevent progression of hearing loss in Pendred syndrome patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas