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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2008 Aug;18(4):377-82. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2008.10.001. Epub 2008 Oct 23.

Hair cell regeneration.

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  • 1Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, United States.


The mammalian inner ear largely lacks the capacity to regenerate hair cells, the sensory cells required for hearing and balance. Recent studies in both lower vertebrates and mammals have uncovered genes and pathways important in hair cell development and have suggested ways that the sensory epithelia could be manipulated to achieve hair cell regeneration. These approaches include the use of inner ear stem cells, transdifferentiation of nonsensory cells, and induction of a proliferative response in the cells that can become hair cells.

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