Send to

Choose Destination
Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2012 Jan 1;4:121-32.

Neural crest stem cells and their potential application in a therapy for deafness.

Author information

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Neurosensory hearing loss is a common condition that has major social and economic implications. Recent advances in stem cell research and in cochlear implantation are offering renewed hopes to people suffering from damage to the auditory hair cells and their associated neurons. Several putative donor cell types are currently being explored, including embryonic stem cells, different types of adult stem cell and the recently described induced-pluripotent stem cells. In this review, we draw attention to the potential application of neural crest stem cells for the treatment of deafness. This population shares a similar developmental origin with the cells of the otic placode, the molecular machinery controlling their maturation and differentiation is comparable and they can produce related sensory neurons. More importantly, pockets of neural crest stem cells remain in the adult body in regions of relatively easy access, facilitating their use for autologous transplantation and therefore avoiding the need for immunosuppression and the problems of tissue rejection. Their exploration and application to hearing conditions could facilitate the development of a clinically-viable, cell-based.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers in Bioscience
Loading ...
Support Center