EGF receptors drive hair cell formation in mice cochleaDecember 13, 2018
Zhang et al outlined a new approach in restoring hearing loss by activating ERBB2 pathway, which could enable the regeneration of sensory hair cells found in the cochlea of the inner ear. Their research was based on the hypothesis that signaling from epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF) family of receptors could play a role in cochlear regeneration in mammals. Thus, the study focused on activating a specific receptor ERBB2 of the EGF family by constitutively activating the receptor in neonatal mouse cochlear supporting cells using viruses, transgenic expression and also by using certain drugs which are known to activate ERBB2 signalling. The researchers found that activating the ERBB2 pathway triggered a cascading series of cellular events by which cochlear support cells began to proliferate and activate the neighbouring stem cells to become new sensory hair cells. The study thus suggests a new model where the interplay of cell signalling regulates regeneration by endogenous stem-like cells.
European Journal of Neuroscience 30 September 2018 doi: 10.1111ejn.14183/