Hearing Loss, Protection, and Regeneration in the Larval Zebrafish Lateral Line

  • Allison B. CoffinEmail author
  • Heather BrignullEmail author
  • David W. Raible
  • Edwin W. Rubel
Part of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research book series (SHAR, volume 48)


This chapter reviews how the larval zebrafish lateral line serves as a model system for studying hair cell death and regeneration. Drugs or vital dyes are rapidly taken up by lateral line hair cells and their effects can be quickly determined by visual assessment. Studies characterizing the death and robust regeneration of lateral line hair cells after exposure to a range of known toxins have established the lateral line as an in vivo model system for understanding these processes. The lateral line has also been the focus of several large-scale drug screens designed to identify novel ototoxins, protective compounds, and compounds that modulate hair cell regeneration. Genetic screens have also provided data about the genes contributing to toxin sensitivity and hair cell regeneration. The combination of rapid, quantitative assays with methods for in vivo visualization make the zebrafish lateral line a promising system for understanding fundamental processes underlying hair cell death and regeneration, and for identifying potential fruitful approaches to modulating these processes in other systems.


Aminoglycoside Cell death Cisplatin Deafness Drug screen Fucoidin Gentamicin Genetic screen Hair cell Neomycin Ototoxicity Synthetic glucocorticoids 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neuroscience ProgramWashington State UniversityVancouverUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological StructureUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research CenterUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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