Signaling in the Auditory System: Implications in Hair Cell Regeneration and Hearing Function

Rahul Mittal, Luca H. Debs, Desiree Nguyen, Amit P. Patel, M'hamed Grati, Jeenu Mittal, Denise Yan, Adrien A. Eshraghi, Xue Zhong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Ear is a sensitive organ involved in hearing and balance function. The complex signaling network in the auditory system plays a crucial role in maintaining normal physiological function of the ear. The inner ear comprises a variety of host signaling pathways working in synergy to deliver clear sensory messages. Any disruption, as minor as it can be, has the potential to affect this finely tuned system with temporary or permanent sequelae including vestibular deficits and hearing loss. Mutations linked to auditory symptoms, whether inherited or acquired, are being actively researched for ways to reverse, silence, or suppress them. In this article, we discuss recent advancements in understanding the pathways involved in auditory system signaling, from hair cell development through transmission to cortical centers. Our review discusses Notch and Wnt signaling, cell to cell communication through connexin and pannexin channels, and the detrimental effects of reactive oxygen species on the auditory system. There has been an increased interest in the auditory community to explore the signaling system in the ear for hair cell regeneration. Understanding signaling pathways in the auditory system will pave the way for the novel avenues to regenerate sensory hair cells and restore hearing function. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 2710–2721, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2710-2721
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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