Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

PUBLISHED TODAY!

A review I wrote with my mentor, Dr. Yehoash Raphael, hit advanced e-publication today in the journal Hearing Research. Check it out! Abstract below………

Transdifferentiation and its applicability for inner ear therapy

During normal development, cells divide, then differentiate to adopt their individual form and function in an organism. Under most circumstances, mature cells cannot transdifferentiate, changing their fate to adopt a different form and function. Because differentiated cells cannot usually divide, the repair of injuries as well as regeneration largely depends on the activation of stem cell reserves. The mature cochlea is an exception among epithelial cell layers in that it lacks stem cells. Consequently, the sensory hair cells that receive sound information cannot be replaced, and their loss results in permanent hearing impairment. The lack of a spontaneous cell replacement mechanism in the organ of Corti, the mammalian auditory sensory epithelium, has led researchers to investigate circumstances in which transdifferentiation does occur. The hope is that this information can be used to design therapies to replace lost hair cells and restore impaired hearing in humans.

First author, baby! One step closer to world domination………Now, won’t you vote for me?

Comments

  1. #1 Chris
    November 3, 2006

    Hey, congratulations on the pub.

  2. #2 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    November 4, 2006

    You lost me here

    The mature cochlea is an exception among epithelial cell layers in that it lacks stem cells.

    I’m a pitiful Network admin,… HOWEVER

    Congrats

  3. #3 Doug
    November 4, 2006

    Speculation:
    Perhaps this ability for “… The lack of a spontaneous cell replacement mechanism in the organ of Corti, the mammalian auditory sensory epithelium …” is due to an ancient virus [or other factor]?

    Perhaps “… human endogenous retroviruses, or HERVs …” as discussed in ‘Ancient human virus resurrected: Virus from distant past may throw light on role of retroviruses in cancer” or other cellular functions or dysfunctions.
    http://www.nature.com/news/2006/061030/full/061030-4.html

  4. #4 Shelley Batts
    November 4, 2006

    Actually, a current paper I’m writing now addresses that, so I don’t want to give it away in a public forum. You can email me if you’d like to talk about it though (actually I hope you do!)

    My general hypothesis has to due with the ability for birds and reptiles to re-initiate developmental gene expression as well as proliferation following hair cell death. But thats all I’m gonna say here. :)