Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Study Reveals New Details on Hearing Restoration in Zebrafish

US National Institutes of Health researchers have uncovered a network of proteins that are involved in restoring hearing via cell regeneration in zebrafish, offering insights that may help treating hearing loss in people. In mammals, damage to the hair cells (HCs) in the inner ear that act as hearing receptors is irreversible. Most other vertebrates, however, can continually produce new HCs throughout their lifetimes or can regenerate them in response to trauma. To better understand this process, the NIH team ablated HCs in zebrafish and used single-cell sequencing to study how the cells regenerate in the animals. As they reported in Cell Genomics, the researchers identified a network of transcription factors that trigger the HC regeneration process. One set of transcription factors, dubbed Sox, initiate regeneration in support cells, then work with another set of transcription factors, called Six, to transform these cells into HCs. The team also uncovered a DNA enhancer that controls Sox activity during the regeneration process.