A new research can help deaf individuals hear, researchers have claimed.
Spiral ganglion cells are essential for hearing and their irreversible degeneration in the inner ear is common in most types of hearing loss. Adult spiral ganglion cells are not able to regenerate.
However, new evidence in a mouse model shows that spiral ganglion stem cells present in the inner ear are capable of self-renewal and can be grown and induced to differentiate into mature spiral ganglion cells as well as neurons and glial cells.
"These findings are particularly interesting as they show that spiral ganglion stem cells can be propagated in vitro," BioResearch Open Access Editor Jane Taylor, PhD, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, said. "These cells are normally poorly regenerated in the mammalian ear."
The research has been described in an article in BioResearch Open Access.