Tracking spontaneous hair cell regeneration in wildtype mice.

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2016

JAX Location

In: Student Reports, Summer 2016, Jackson Laboratory


Hair cells (HCs) of the inner ear are the basis for auditory and vestibular functioning, but are easily damaged. In adult mammals, hair cells do not regrow after damage, leading to hearing loss. Recent research demonstrates regeneration of hair cells in the auditory system can occur in postnatal mice for several days after birth. Genetic background may influence regeneration capacity, so studying regeneration in several strains could create to a better understanding of what genes and pathway underlying restoration. While HC regeneration has been identified in transgenic neonates, demonstrating regrowth in wild-type, non-transgenic mice required a new research protocol. I developed a protocol to distinguish between new, regenerated HCs and HC that survived injury in wildtype mice. The use of FM1-43 identified surviving HC, while Myo7, Sox2, and phalloidin further allowed distinction between old and new cells. This protocol can be extended to multiple inbred strains to allow for comparison. If there is variability across lines, then genome-wide profiling could reveal genes or pathways that affect the regeneration process.

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