Scientists have returned to mice ears deafened


The good news for people who have to work in the constant noise and fans of loud music! Hearing loss caused by loud noises too, soon will be cured with the help of drugs.

In the perception of sounds of animals play a major role located in the inner ear hair cells. They are responsible for converting sound waves caused by mechanical vibrations into nerve impulses. Too loud sounds can contribute to damage to the cells, and sometimes even destroy them. And while in birds and fish, these hair cells regenerate in mammals, they are lost forever.

Scientists have long been staying in search of methods to combat the severe impact of the acoustic trauma. In 2005, in an experiment with guinea pigs they were able to induce through a complex gene therapy growth of hair cells in the inner ear of animals. Now a team of biologists led by Albert Edge of the Massachusetts General Hospital eye problems and ear drug used to restore hearing in mice.

The researchers found in experiments that the class of drugs called gamma-secretase inhibitors causes of stem cells grown in the laboratory, the growth of hair cells. The substance prevents the action of signaling protein that determines which cells turn into hair, and what will be the ear supporting cells.

In a study published in the current issue of the journal Neuron, researchers on mice, stunned by a two-hour exposure to very loud sounds, have been tested several types of inhibitors. On the following day after the animals have led hearing loss drug. The hair cells of the inner ear of rodents as a result of treatment recovered, and the animals were once again respond to sounds.

"The hair cells that have disappeared under the influence of the drug, were replaced by new ones, - said in a press release from the clinic Edge. - As the analysis in the areas of the ear where there were cells, there was a significant improvement of hearing."

Experts also noted that treatment of mice began the next day after stunning, but it remains unclear what will be the effect of the drug on an animal that has long lost the hearing in part or in full. Means yet in any case is not ready for clinical trials, and is expected to further research.

Perhaps in the future these drugs, at least, will be able to quickly restore hearing, for example, stunned soldiers break the shell.

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