Proliferative generation of mammalian auditory hair cells in culture

Brigitte Malgrange, Shibeshih Belachew, Marc Thiry, Laurent Nguyen, Bernard Rogister, Maria Luz Alvarez, Jean Michel Rigo, Thomas R. Van De Water, Gustave Moonen, Philippe P. Lefebvre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Hair cell (HC) and supporting cell (SC) productions are completed during early embryonic development of the mammalian cochlea. This study shows that acutely dissociated cells from the newborn rat organ of Corti, developed into so-called otospheres consisting of 98% nestin (+) cells when plated on a non-adherent substratum in the presence of either epidermal growth factor (EGF) or fibroblast growth factor (FGF2). Within cultured otospheres, nestin (+) cells were shown to express EGF receptor (EGFR) and FGFR2 and rapidly give rise to newly formed myosin VIIA (+) HCs and p27KIP1 (+) SCs. Myosin VIIA (+) HCs had incorporated bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) demonstrating that they were generated by a mitotic process. Ultrastructural studies confirmed that HCs had differentiated within the otosphere, as defined by the presence of both cuticular plates and stereocilia. This work raises the hypothesis that nestin (+) cells might be a source of newly generated HCs and SCs in the injured postnatal organ of Corti.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalMechanisms of Development
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Hair cells
  • Inner ear
  • Myosin VIIA
  • Nestin
  • Organ of Corti
  • p27
  • Progenitor cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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