IU Researchers Create the Inner Ear from Stem Cells, Opening Potential for New Treatments

Discussion in 'Research News' started by erik, Jul 13, 2013.

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    1. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
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      IU researchers create the inner ear from stem cells, opening potential for new treatments

      July 10, 2013
      INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University scientists have transformed mouse embryonic stem cells into key structures of the inner ear. The discovery provides new insights into the sensory organ's developmental process and sets the stage for laboratory models of disease, drug discovery and potential treatments for hearing loss and balance disorders.

      A research team led by Eri Hashino, Ph.D., Ruth C. Holton Professor of Otolaryngology at Indiana University School of Medicine, reported that by using a three-dimensional cell culture method, they were able to coax stem cells to develop into inner-ear sensory epithelia -- containing hair cells, supporting cells and neurons -- that detect sound, head movements and gravity. The research was reportedly online Wednesday in the journal Nature.

      Previous attempts to "grow" inner-ear hair cells in standard cell culture systems have worked poorly in part because necessary cues to develop hair bundles -- a hallmark of sensory hair cells and a structure critically important for detecting auditory or vestibular signals -- are lacking in the flat cell-culture dish. But, Dr. Hashino said, the team determined that the cells needed to be suspended as aggregates in a specialized culture medium, which provided an environment more like that found in the body during early development.

      The team mimicked the early development process with a precisely timed use of several small molecules that prompted the stem cells to differentiate, from one stage to the next, into precursors of the inner ear. But the three-dimensional suspension also provided important mechanical cues, such as the tension from the pull of cells on each other, said Karl R. Koehler, B.A., the paper's first author and a graduate student in the medical neuroscience graduate program at the IU School of Medicine.

      "The three-dimensional culture allows the cells to self-organize into complex tissues using mechanical cues that are found during embryonic development," Koehler said.
      "We were surprised to see that once stem cells are guided to become inner-ear precursors and placed in 3-D culture, these cells behave as if they knew not only how to become different cell types in the inner ear, but also how to self-organize into a pattern remarkably similar to the native inner ear," Dr. Hashino said. "Our initial goal was to make inner-ear precursors in culture, but when we did testing we found thousands of hair cells in a culture dish."

      Electrophysiology testing further proved that those hair cells generated from stem cells were functional, and were the type that sense gravity and motion. Moreover, neurons like those that normally link the inner-ear cells to the brain had also developed in the cell culture and were connected to the hair cells.

      Additional research is needed to determine how inner-ear cells involved in auditory sensing might be developed, as well as how these processes can be applied to develop human inner-ear cells, the researchers said.

      However, the work opens a door to better understanding of the inner-ear development process as well as creation of models for new drug development or cellular therapy to treat inner-ear disorders, they said.

      Additional researchers involved in the work were Andrew M. Mikosz, B.S., Andrei I. Molosh, Ph.D., and Dharmeshkumar Patel, Ph.D., of Indiana University School of Medicine.

      Support for the research was provided by National Institutes of Health grants RC1DC010706, R01GM086544 and R01MH52619, a Paul and Carole Stark Neurosciences Fellowship and an Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute Predoctoral Fellowship (NIH TL1RR025759).
       
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    2. James White
      Anime

      James White Member Benefactor

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      I think this is amazing news. We are not talking about humans but we can see where they are going.
       
    3. Jade
      Lucky

      Jade Member Benefactor

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      Loving the feeling of hope and this article brings..... If only someone of high importance got (T) this research would be pushed up the line of priority to find a cure
       
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    4. Miss lavender

      Miss lavender Member

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      Australia
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      Where abouts in Australia are you Jade? I am Miss Lavender a new member here, also in Australia.
       
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    5. Jade
      Lucky

      Jade Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sunshine Coast, Australia
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      @Miss lavender nice too meet you, I live on the Sunshine Coast yourself?
       
    6. Miss lavender

      Miss lavender Member

      Location:
      Australia
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      I live in Melbourne. Bugger I thought if we lived in the same city we could catch up and share stories and even have a good laugh.
      Never mind, nice meeting you also. Hope you are coping well with the big T.
       
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    7. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

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      US
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      Great find, Karl!

      This self-organization discovery is pivotal. It was even cited in Nature, but he article is pretty useless unless you buy the pdf. Wonder if there's a review article somewhere summarizing the current state of inner ear stem cell research?

      The authors also note this discovery will fuel additional research into inner ear disorders. Tinnitus, perhaps? ;)

      Did you notice the funding sources? Two are internal, i.e., Indiana University. But several others are from the NIH. Without a doubt, the NIH is driving most of this research. And the VA is at least partially driving the NIH. With this sequester, I wonder how many hearing and tinnitus research grants will remain unfunded?
       
    8. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

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      Jazz -
      Somebody sent this to me, and it looked significant. I'm just the messenger.

      The title above has a link that goes to the actual article, which has some nice photos.
       
    9. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

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      This was posted earlier by erik, I merged the threads. :)
       
    10. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
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      After a significant amount of research, I managed to track down a clinic that has treated one former patient for both hearing loss and tinnitus. After a long thought process, I decided to attempt their stem cell therapy, and so I will be leaving this weekend for a clinic in Bangkok.

      Will let you know of the outcome...
       
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    11. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

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      Very interesting , if it works for you please let us know and I will be on the next plane to Bangkok.
       
    12. James White
      Anime

      James White Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toulouse, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
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      You have tinnitus only since April 2013 and you are going the stem cell route ?

      Well good luck ! hope for the best
       
    13. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
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      I've added slightly more information about the treatment in my introduction...
       
    14. exodus
      Cold

      exodus Member

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      05/2008
      hi can we have this clinic contacts?

      thanks
       
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    15. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

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      I agree! Contacts please.
       
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    16. jes
      Familiar

      jes Member Benefactor

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      Huuj a german fronteer, we can all meet in a bar after the treatment.
       
    17. Dhaval
      Buzzed

      Dhaval Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4 months
      Gee....
      If this works for you@attheedgeofscience and if v can all try this I'll fly down to Germany jus to join you in the bar. And the 1st rounds on me.
       
    18. EddyLee
      Tolerant

      EddyLee Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      I say if the treatment works for us we all meet in a bar and ask the bar to blast the music level through the roof!
      Tinnitus? Bring it on! :p
       
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    19. Dhaval
      Buzzed

      Dhaval Member

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      @attheedgeofscience I must comment on your bravery and tenacity. It's not easy to arrive at Duchenne a decision especially in a science that is very very new. Well done.

      Do let us know in detail what this treatment is all about. Please I'd say you have kindled a lot of hope. Get details. And ofcourse address of the clinic please.

      Cheers
       
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    20. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

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      @attheedgeofscience

      I read your introduction with great interest yesterday. Welcome to this terrific forum and please keep us posted on your progress. NYC is a long way from Germany, but I might just meet you all at the bar anyway!

      -Golly
       
    21. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
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      I've agreed with Markku (in a private e-mail) to document as much as I can while I am in Thailand. As I wrote in my introduction, I will of course be happy to share whatever may be of help to others afterwards (just as I did with the laser therapy). Right now, however, I don't feel I have much more to add to my stem cell therapy adventure - because I have no tangible facts at this moment. This kind of treatment comes with no guarentees whatsoever, I am afraid...
       
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    22. Dhaval
      Buzzed

      Dhaval Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4 months
      @attheedgeofscience

      Thanks for even showing interest in sharing your story (albeit in private). All I can say is BEST OF LUCK. from all of us and I'll pray that it works for you. I honestly will.

      It goes to show some people do care and just that thought makes me tingly all over. We all wait with bated breath.

      Cheers.....salute!!
       
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    23. frohike
      Approved

      frohike Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
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      The treatment: http://www.returninghope.com/stem-cell-therapy-for-hearing-loss.html

      I'm very pessimistic about this procedure. They harvest stem cells from your body and stick them back in the damaged tissue. Then they are supposed to heal the tissue? How does this apply to Tinnitus? are they going to open the cochlea and just put them there? Sorry, it sounds preposterous.

      This article provide a more realistic view of how to treat hearing loss with stem cells: http://www.scientificamerican.com/a...n-biological-ways-to-restore-hearing&offset=6
       
    24. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
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      Childhood
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      Head Injury
      Chinese hospitals use adult stem cells from the patients themselves. Stem cells are harvested from the fat around the belly. The stem cells are then injected into the spinal cord or intravenously some days later. The delay is important to allow the site of the liposuction to heal itself first. Injecting stem cells into the cochlea is not common.
       
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    25. James White
      Anime

      James White Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toulouse, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Maybe loud music. Not sure.
      I thought i read it takes weeks for iPSC to transform into inner ear cells. If they inject them into your blood stream, how do they know they have to go to the cochlea ?
       
    26. frohike
      Approved

      frohike Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Thanks for answering, I didn't know you could get stem cells from fat. I still don't know how stem cells on your blood are going to regenerate the hair cells. Is there any precedent for that?
       
    27. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      At some point in my T-adventure I contacted Returning Hope but seeing the price vs the no guarantees kind of made me reconsider.They did get back to me asking about my hearing measurements as well as medical history but made it very clear that there were no guarantees. I was a bit sceptical about the delivery system as well.

      I really , really hope this works for you. If it does I am going.

      Best of luck. :)
       
    28. James White
      Anime

      James White Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toulouse, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Maybe loud music. Not sure.
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    29. Dhaval
      Buzzed

      Dhaval Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4 months
      Whoa!....its great to hear about this and is a fun read but still its in rats wheres the evidence in humans. And as is is it really possible to gauge what happens after the transplant is complete...Oh and by way the injecting IV is not transplantation....its supposed that the iPSC will simply migrate to the inner ear and allow growth and /or repair of inner hair cells....I hope/and wish it is that simple.

      Also aren't stemcells of different types based n from where they are derived and wouldn't you need the ones from an E-cord .....gosh i'd have to do time travel for that.

      Cheers
       
    30. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
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      Head Injury
      Successfull hearing loss treatments have already been done in humans. Here is the most high profile case to date...

      RNL BIO Rescues a College Student from...
       
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