Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, a Stepping Stone to In Vitro Human Models of Hearing Loss


Hearing loss is the most prevalent sensorineural impairment in humans. Yet despite very active research, no effective therapy other than the cochlear implant has reached the clinic. Main reasons for this failure are the multifactorial nature of the disorder, its heterogeneity, and a late onset that hinders the identification of etiological factors. Another problem is the lack of human samples such that practically all the work has been conducted on animals. Although highly valuable data have been obtained from such models, there is the risk that inter-species differences exist that may compromise the relevance of the gathered data. Human-based models are therefore direly needed. The irruption of human induced pluripotent stem cell technologies in the field of hearing research offers the possibility to generate an array of otic cell models of human origin; these may enable the identification of guiding signalling cues during inner ear development and of the mechanisms that lead from genetic alterations to pathology. These models will also be extremely valuable when conducting ototoxicity analyses and when exploring new avenues towards regeneration in the inner ear. This review summarises some of the work that has already been conducted with these cells and contemplates future possibilities.

Authors Durán-Alonso MB, Petković H
Journal Cells
Publication Date 2022 Oct 21;11(20)
PubMed 36291196
PubMed Central PMC9600035
DOI 10.3390/cells11203331

Research Projects

Cell Lines