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HNO. 2000 Jun;48(6):457-61.

[Effect of fibroblast growth factor-1 (FGF-1) on spiral ganglion cells of the mammalian cochlea].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Klinik und Poliklinik für Hals-, Nasen- und Ohrenkranke, Bayerische Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg.


Transient expression by hair cells, increasing levels of FGF-1 mRNA in neonatal rat spiral ganglion neurons and strong expression in adulthood, make FGF-1 a candidate to be associated with development and maintenance of the mammalian spiral ganglion. To test this hypothesis, dissociated spiral ganglion cells from 5 day old rats were cultured in the presence of FGF-1 at 100 ng/ml plus heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG) at 500 ng/ml for 72 hours. Spiral ganglion cells incubated with FGF-1/HSPG achieved an average neurite length of 323 microns while control cells gained an average neurite length of 203 microns. The results of this study are consistent with our previous findings in whole spiral ganglion explants (3) where FGF-1 incubation significantly stimulated neurite outgrowth at about the same range. However, stimulation of neurite outgrowth in dissociated spiral ganglion cells suggests that FGF-1 directly binds to FGF receptors on the surface of spiral ganglion neurons and/or neurites instead of acting via intermediate cells such as glia. Since FGF receptor mRNA was found to be expressed only at very low levels in neonatal spiral ganglion neurons (7) it is possible that the receptors are highly localized, perhaps to neurite growth cones. Alternatively, an unknown FGF receptor or splice variant may be expressed in these cells. Adequate FGF-1 application to the human inner ear may stimulate spiral ganglion cell survival and neurite extension after hair cell loss in patients suitable for cochlear implant treatment. By creating a closer contact between spiral ganglion cells and the electrode, FGF-1 might also improve the efficacy of cochlear implants.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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