The research, published today in STEM CELLS, reveals that mucosa-derived stem cells can help preserve hearing function during the early-onset of sensorineural hearing loss.
(Vocus/PRWEB) February 10, 2011
Stem Cell scientists in Australia have found that patients suffering from hearing problems which began during infancy and childhood could benefit from a transplant of stem cells from their nose. The research, published today in STEM CELLS, reveals that mucosa-derived stem cells can help preserve hearing function during the early-onset of sensorineural hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by the loss of sensory cells or neurons in the cochlea, the sensory organ of the inner ear responsible for hearing. The condition can have genetic causes, often arising during infancy and childhood, hindering cognitive development and leading to speech and language problems.
“One of the challenges in tackling this condition is that the regenerative ability of the human cochlea is severely limited”, said lead author Dr. Sharon Oleskevich from the Hearing Research Group at The University of New South Wales. “It has been proposed that the transplantation of cells from other parts of the body could treat, prevent or even reverse hearing loss. The transplanted cells have the potential to repair tissue by replacing damaged cells and enhancing the survival of existing cells, preventing the condition from developing further.”
To investigate the effects of this treatment, nasal stem cells were injected into the cochlea of mice displaying symptoms of hearing loss. Mice were chosen for this treatment as they display a similar decline in hearing function following infancy.
"The authors have used an interesting type of adult stem cell, related to mesenchymal stem cells, to reduce the extent of hearing loss,” said Jan Nolta, Associate Editor of STEM CELLS. “Since the cells did not integrate into the cochlea, it is likely that the effects from the adult stem cells were due to the release of factors to preserve function of the endogenous stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells are known to provide factors to keep many types of cells healthy and functioning."
Patient hearing levels were examined using the auditory brainstem response assay, which determines the lowest sound level to which the brain responds, known as the hearing threshold.
The mice which received the transplanted cells were compared to mice who had not received the treatment a month later, revealing that the hearing threshold level in stem cell-transplanted mice was significantly lower.
“The results demonstrate a significant effect of nasal stem cell transplantations for sensorineural hearing loss,” concluded Oleskevich. “These cells can be obtained easily from the nasal cavity making this transplantation a potential treatment for other human conditions including Parkinson’s disease and cardiac infarction.”
This study is published in STEM CELLS. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact Lifesciencenews(at)wiley(dot)com
Full citation: Pandit. S, Sullivan .J, Egger. V, Borecki. A, Oleskevich. S, ‘Functional effects of adult human olfactory stem cells on early-onset sensorineural hearing loss’, STEM CELLS, Wiley-Blackwell, February 2011, DOI 10.1002/stem.609
STEM CELLS, a peer reviewed journal published monthly, provides a forum for prompt publication of original investigative papers and concise reviews. The journal covers all aspects of stem cells: embryonic stem cells/induced pluripotent stem cells; tissue-specific stem cells; cancer stem cells; the stem cell niche; stem cell epigenetics, genomics and proteomics; and translational and clinical research. For more information, please visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1549-4918. STEM CELLS is co-published by AlphaMed Press and Wiley-Blackwell.
About AlphaMed Press
Established in 1983, AlphaMed Press with offices in Durham, NC and Belfast, Northern Ireland, publishes two internationally renowned peer-reviewed journals: STEM CELLS®, now in its 29th year, is the world's first journal devoted to this fast paced field of research. The Oncologist® (http://www.TheOncologist.com), also a monthly peer-reviewed publication, is in its 16th year and is devoted to community and hospital-based oncologists and physicians entrusted with cancer patient care. Both journals are premier periodicals with globally recognized editorial boards dedicated to advancing knowledge and education in their focused disciplines. AlphaMed Press publishes the Stem Cells Portal (http://www.StemCellsPortal.com) and The Oncologist’s Community (http://www.TheOncologistCommunity.com) online, as well as freestanding monographs and books, and is renowned for its excellence and speed in the publication of the peer-reviewed proceedings of major international symposia. For more information on AlphaMed Press, please visit http://www.alphamedpress.org.
Wiley-Blackwell is the international scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, with strengths in every major academic and professional field and partnerships with many of the world’s leading societies. Wiley-Blackwell publishes nearly 1,500 peer-reviewed journals and 1,500+ new books annually in print and online, as well as databases, major reference works and laboratory protocols. For more information, please visit http://www.wileyblackwell.com or our new online platform, Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), one of the world’s most extensive multidisciplinary collections of online resources, covering life, health, social and physical sciences, and humanities.