Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 76, Issue 4, pp 627–635 | Cite as

Pluripotent stem cell-derived cochlear cells: a challenge in constant progress

  • Amandine Czajkowski
  • Anaïs Mounier
  • Laurence Delacroix
  • Brigitte MalgrangeEmail author


Hearing loss is a common affection mainly resulting from irreversible loss of the sensory hair cells of the cochlea; therefore, developing therapies to replace missing hair cells is essential. Understanding the mechanisms that drive their formation will not only help to unravel the molecular basis of deafness, but also give a roadmap for recapitulating hair cells development from cultured pluripotent stem cells. In this review, we provide an overview of the molecular mechanisms involved in hair cell production from both human and mouse embryonic stem cells. We then provide insights how this knowledge has been applied to differentiate induced pluripotent stem cells into otic progenitors and hair cells. Finally, we discuss the current limitations for properly obtaining functional hair cell in a Petri dish, as well as the difficulties that have to be overcome prior to consider stem cell therapy as a potential treatment for hearing loss.


Stem cells Differentiation Inner ear Otic progenitors Hair cells 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Developmental Neurobiology UnitGIGA-Neurosciences, University of Liège, Quartier Hôpital (CHU)LiègeBelgium

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