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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2013 May;24(5):448-59. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2013.03.009. Epub 2013 Mar 29.

Inner ear supporting cells: rethinking the silent majority.

Author information

1
FM Kirby Neurobiology Center, Children's Hospital Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

Sensory epithelia of the inner ear contain two major cell types: hair cells and supporting cells. It has been clear for a long time that hair cells play critical roles in mechanoreception and synaptic transmission. In contrast, until recently the more abundant supporting cells were viewed as serving primarily structural and homeostatic functions. In this review, we discuss the growing information about the roles that supporting cells play in the development, function and maintenance of the inner ear, their activities in pathological states, their potential for hair cell regeneration, and the mechanisms underlying these processes.

PMID:
23545368
PMCID:
PMC4005836
DOI:
10.1016/j.semcdb.2013.03.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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