Cochlear hair cell regeneration: an emerging opportunity to cure noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss

Drug Discov Today. 2018 Aug;23(8):1564-1569. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2018.05.001. Epub 2018 May 4.


In mammals, cochlear hair cells have a pivotal role in transducing mechanical energy into electrical signals. Cochlear hair cells are sensitive to acoustic trauma, drug insults, aging, and environmental or genetic influences that can cause permanent hearing loss. Currently, many researchers have focused on noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). Noise-induced SNHL is primarily caused by damage to hair cells of the cochlear sensory epithelium. Here, we summarize recent progress in restoring the sensory epithelium after SNHL resulting from noise exposure. The prevalent strategy to regenerate cochlear hair cells is through transdifferentiation of the supporting cells via the inhibition of the NOTCH 1 pathway.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cell Transdifferentiation
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / metabolism
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / pathology*
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / pathology
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / therapy*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / pathology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Noise / adverse effects*
  • Receptor, Notch1 / metabolism
  • Recovery of Function
  • Regeneration*
  • Regenerative Medicine / methods*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cell Transplantation


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Receptor, Notch1