Due to aging, noise, and many cancer therapy drugs and antibiotics, hearing loss has been irreversible because scientists have failed to reprogram existing cells so that they can develop into the outer and inner ear sensory cells, which is vital for hearing when they die.
Scientists at Northwestern Medicine have discovered a single master gene that transposes ear hair cells into either outer or inner ones, overcoming a major obstacle that had hindered the development of these cells to restore hearing.
The study will be published in June 4.
According to lead research author Jaime Garcia-Anoveros, a professor of anesthesia, neurology, and neuroscience at Northwestern University. It will provide a previously unavailable tool to fabricate an inner or outer hair cell. We have overcome a difficult issue.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 8.5 percent of adults aged 55 to 64 in the United States have a disabling hearing loss. This increase brings about nearly 25% of those aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of those who are 75 and older.
Currently, scientists may produce an artificial hair cell, but it does not distinguish between an inner and outer cell, which has a variety of functions to perform hearing. This is a significant step towards the development of these specific cells.
Its like a ballet as cells crouch and leap
The death of outer hair cells caused by the cochlea are most often the cause of deafness and hearing loss. The cells develop in the embryo and do not reproduce. The outer hair cells expand and contract in response to the pressure of sound waves and amplify sound for the inner hair cells. The inner cells transmit these vibrations to neurons to create the sounds we hear.
Garcia-Anoveros describes the coordinated movement of the inner and outer cells as a ballet. They squint and jump and lift the inners further into the ears.
The ear is a beautiful organ. There is no other organ in a mammal in which the cells are so precise. (I mean, with micrometric precision). Otherwise, hearing does not occur.
The master gene switch Northwestern scientists discovered that programs the ear hair cells is TBX2. When the gene is expressed, the cell becomes an inner hair cell. According to Garcia-Anoveros, the ability to produce one of these cells will require a gene cocktail. The ATOH1 and GF1 genes are required to create a cochlear hair cell from a non-hair cell. The then the TBX2 would be turned on or off to produce the required inner or outer cell.
The objective of this study would be to transform supporting cells, which are latticed among the hair cells and provide them with structural support, into outer or inner hair cells.
According to Garcia-Anoveros, we can now determine how to make specific inner or outer hair cells and identify why the later are more susceptible to dying and deafness. This research is still in the experiment stage.
Tbx2 is the master regulator of inner vs. outer hair cell differentiation and maintenance, according to the title.
Anne Duggan, Northwestern co-lead author John C. Clancy, Chuan Zhi Foo, Ignacio Garcia Gomez, Yingji Zhou, Kazuaki Homma, and Mary Ann Cheatham are among the authors who wrote this article.