Inner Ear Stem Cell Niche

  • Zhengqing HuEmail author
Part of the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine book series (STEMCELL)


In the vertebrate inner ear, sensory hair cells are the primary receptors for sound and movement. However, adult mammals have a severely limited ability to regenerate inner ear sensory hair cells and neurons after they are damaged. Therefore, loss of mammalian hair cells and neurons is usually irreversible, which cause permanent hearing loss, balance impairment, and other inner ear disorders. Progress in stem cell biology has shed light on the regeneration of sensory hair cell and inner ear neurons. In recent years, hair cells and neurons have been generated using pluripotent stem cells, multipotent tissue-specific stem cells derived from inner ear and other tissues. However, stem cell niche in the inner ear has been rarely reported. In this chapter, I will discuss inner ear stem cell niche for hair cells and inner ear neurons.


Embryonic stem cell Hair cell Inner ear Regeneration Spiral ganglion Stem cell niche 



Auditory brainstem response


Atonal Homolog 1


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor


Bone morphogenetic protein




Delta-like 1


Distal-Less Homeobox 3


Distal-Less Homeobox 5


Epidermal growth factor 


Epithelial to mesenchymal transition

ES cell

Embryonic stem cell


Eyes Absent Homolog 1 


Fluorescence activated cell sorting 


Fibroblast Growth Factors


Forkhead Box I1


GATA binding protein 3


Gastrulation Brain Homeobox 2


Glial fibrillary acidic protein


Green fluorescent protein


Hes family bHLH transcription factor 1


Hes family bHLH transcription factor 5


Insulin-like growth factor


Induced pluripotent stem cells


Insulin gene enhancer protein 1


Jagged 1


Jagged 2


Kruppel-like factor 4


LFNG O-fucosylpeptide 3-beta-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase


Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein coupled receptor 5 


Leukemia inhibitory factor


Mouse utricle sensory epithelium-derived prosensory-like cells


Nerve growth factor 




Octamer-binding transcription factor 4


Paired box protein


Myelin protein zero


Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction


Spiral ganglion neurons


Sine Oculis Homeobox 1


Sma, mothers against decapentaplegic 3


Snail Family Zinc Finger 1


Snail Family Zinc Finger 2


SRY-related HMG-box 1


SRY-related HMG-box 2


SRY-related HMG-box 3


SRY-related HMG-box 9


Transforming growth factor alpha


The transforming growth factor beta 


Beta III Tubulin


Zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1


Zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 2


Zona occuldens protein 1



This work is supported by R01 (R01DC013275) from NIH. The author thank Ms. Yang Zhou, Xiaoyang Li, and Yiyun Jiang for their valuable comments to the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA

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