Scientists have restored the hearing of mice partly deafened by noise, using advanced tools to boost the production of a key protein in their ears.
By demonstrating the importance of the protein, called NT3, in maintaining communication between the ears and brain, these new findings pave the way for research in humans that could improve treatment of hearing loss caused by noise exposure and normal aging.
In a new paper in the online journal eLife, the team from the University of Michigan Medical School’s Kresge Hearing Research Institute and Harvard University report the results of their work to understand NT3’s role in the inner ear, and the impact of increased NT3 production on hearing after a noise exposure.
Their work also illustrates the key role of cells that have traditionally been seen as the “supporting actors” of the ear-brain connection. Called supporting cells, they form a physical base for the hearing system’s “stars”: the hair cells in the ear that interact directly with the nerves that carry sound signals to the brain. This new research identifies the critical role of these supporting cells along with the NT3 molecules that they produce.
NT3 is crucial to the body’s ability to form and maintain connections between hair cells and nerve cells, the researchers demonstrate. This special type of connection, called a ribbon synapse, allows extra-rapid communication of signals that travel back and forth across tiny gaps between the two types of cells.
“It has become apparent that hearing loss due to damaged ribbon synapses is a very common and challenging problem, whether it’s due to noise or normal aging,” says Gabriel Corfas, Ph.D., who led the team and directs the U-M institute. “We began this work 15 years ago to answer very basic questions about the inner ear, and now we have been able to restore hearing after partial deafening with noise, a common problem for people. It’s very exciting.”
Using a special genetic technique, the researchers made it possible for some mice to produce additional NT3 in cells of specific areas of the inner ear after they were exposed to noise loud enough to reduce hearing. Mice with extra NT3 regained their ability to hear much better than the control mice.
Now, says Corfas, his team will explore the role of NT3 in human ears, and seek drugs that might boost NT3 action or production. While the use of such drugs in humans could be several years away, the new discovery gives them a specific target to pursue.
The Latest on: Hearing loss
via Google News
The Latest on: Hearing loss
- When hearing loss was a public hazard: Flashing back to 1974on August 4, 2022 at 9:02 am
Hearing loss has been seen as a health issue for decades. A local expert says the causes for loss of hearing have changed over time.
- Noise-induced hearing loss and how to prevent iton August 4, 2022 at 7:40 am
Turns out that playlist could cause us to lose more than a few pounds. We are learning about the very real dangers of noise-induced hearing loss from UnitedHealthcare Hearing.
- Hearing Loss, Tinnitus Can Strike Cancer Survivorson August 4, 2022 at 4:02 am
While hearing loss associated with the administration of platinum drugs was reported in adults with testicular and head and neck cancer, our study is the first to demonstrate t ...
- Dickinson audiologist explains hearing loss, preventative measureson August 3, 2022 at 4:50 pm
Dr. Krystal Mann is an audiologist with a private practice called Krystal Clear Hearing Center. She earned her medical certification from the A.T. Still School of Osteopathic Medicine in Mesa, Arizona ...
- Hearing Loss, Tinnitus Common After Neurotoxic Chemo for Canceron August 2, 2022 at 7:05 pm
Cancer survivors who received a platinum alone, a taxane alone, or a platinum- and taxane-containing regimen have similar rates of hearing loss and tinnitus, according to a study published online July ...
- XRAI Glass: Revolutionary New Glasses Allow Deaf People and People Who Have Hearing Loss to ‘See’ Conversationson July 28, 2022 at 4:02 pm
XRAI Glass announces the launch of the public preview of its revolutionary technology. XRAI Glass is a pioneering software product with a mission to enrich conversation for hundreds of millions of ...
- Study reveals for the first time that hearing loss and tinnitus is common in cancer survivorson July 27, 2022 at 6:46 pm
Scientists in San Francisco have discovered for the first time that hearing loss and tinnitus are extremely common in survivors of the four most common types of cancer. In the findings, published this ...
- Hearing loss and tinnitus are common in cancer survivorson July 27, 2022 at 9:46 am
While children receiving chemotherapy routinely undergo hearing tests, adults don't, and a new study by UC San Francisco reports for the first time that significant hearing issues often occur among ...
- Hearing loss after chemotherapy common, study findson July 27, 2022 at 8:22 am
July 27 (UPI) --Post-chemotherapy hearing loss and ringing in the ears, called tinnitis, affect the majority of adult survivors of the most common cancers, and routine hearing screening is needed ...
- Kaye Adams: In light of star's 'scary' diagnosis an expert shares 6 signs of the conditionon July 25, 2022 at 11:09 am
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can ...
via Bing News