Thursday, January 17, 2013
Researchers in Boston and Japan have devised a
pharmacological method to transform inner ear epithelial cells into working
hair cells and have used the method to restore hearing in deaf mice.1
The finding provides proof of concept for treating hearing loss by manipulating
developmental pathways in the adult ear, but figuring out the precise pathway
to hit in humans will require further work.
Despite the positive findings, questions remain about the
relevance of the model used in the study to common forms of hearing loss, as
well as the suitability of g-secretase as a
Osherovich, L. SciBX 6(2); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.29
Published online Jan. 17, 2013
1. Mitzutari, K. et al.
Neuron; published online Jan. 9, 2013; doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2012.10.032
Contact: Albert S.B. Edge, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
Audion Therapeutics B.V., Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE:LLY), Indianapolis, Ind.
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
Inception 3 Inc., San Diego, Calif.
Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Mass.
Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Ore.
Otonomy Inc., San Diego, Calif.
(SIX:ROG; OTCQX:RHHBY), Basel, Switzerland
(Euronext:SAN; NYSE:SNY), Paris, France
Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.