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Neuroreport. 2003 Sep 15;14(13):1677-81.

Fate of neural stem cells grafted into injured inner ears of mice.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, 54 Kawahara-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, 606-8507 Kyoto, Japan.


Loss of sensory hair cells in the inner ear is a major cause of permanent hearing loss, since regeneration of hair cells rarely occurs in mammals. The aim of this study was to examine the potential of neural stem cell transplantation to restore inner ear hair cells in mice. Fetal neural stem cells were transplanted into the mouse inner ear after drug-induced injury. Histological analysis demonstrates that the majority of grafted cells differentiated into glial or neural cells in the inner ear. Strikingly, however, we show that grafted cells integrate in vestibular sensory epithelia and express specific markers for hair cells. This finding suggests that transplanted neural stem cells have the potential to differentiate and restore inner ear hair cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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