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Hear Res. 2007 Nov;233(1-2):23-9. Epub 2007 Jun 20.

The human fetal cochlea can be a source for auditory progenitors/stem cells isolation.

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Centre for Stem Cell Biology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.


The development of new stem cell-based technologies is creating new hopes in regenerative medicine. Hearing-impaired individuals should benefit greatly from the development of a cell-based regenerative strategy to treat deafness. An important achievement would be to develop a human-based system that could bring the advances made in animal models closer to clinical application. In this work, we have explored the suitability of the developing fetal cochlea to be used as a source for the extraction of auditory progenitor/stem cells. We have established cultures that express critical markers such as NESTIN, SOX2, GATA3 and PAX2. These cultures can be expanded in vitro for several months and differentiating markers such as ATOH1/HATH1 and POU4F3/BRN3C can be induced by manipulating the culture conditions using specific growth factors such as bFGF, EGF and retinoic acid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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