Navigation Links
Can you hear me now? How the inner ear's sensors are made
Date:12/1/2008

A UCLA study shows for the first time how microscopic crystals form sound and gravity sensors inside the inner ear. Located at the ends of cilia tiny cellular hairs in the ear that move and transmit signals these crystals play an important role in detecting sound, maintaining balance and regulating movement.

Dislodged ear crystals are to blame for the most common form of vertigo. Known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, the disorder plagues up to 10 percent of people older than 60 and causes 20 percent of patients' dizziness complaints.

The researchers' findings, published Nov. 30 in the advance online edition of the journal Nature, suggest a potential gene target for the treatment of people suffering from common hearing and balance problems related to cilia disorders.

"People have known for a long time about the importance of cilia for propelling sperm up the uterus and moving mucus out of the lungs," said Kent Hill, associate professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the UCLA College of Letters and Science. "Our study illustrates that cilia perform many additional jobs that are essential to how our bodies develop and work."

Hill's team employed high-speed, high-definition video imaging to watch cilia moving in real-time inside the developing ears of embryonic zebrafish. These small, bony fish undergo stages of development similar to humans and other vertebrates, making them useful models for research.

The researchers labeled cilia in the fish with fluorescent probes and used video microscopy to visualize the cilia and other inner ear structures. In the control group of fish, long cilia beat like tiny oars, causing tiny particles to circle in a vortex around them. The tornado of whirling particles accumulated at the proper location to form the inner ear's crystalline sensors.

"We next blocked expression of a gene that controls dynein a tiny molecular motor that drives cilia movement," said Hill. "When we examined the embryos, we saw that cilia movement came to a halt. As a result, the particles did not assemble in the correct site. So not only did ear crystals form in the wrong place, but they were misshapen and abnormally sized."

"While it's been suggested that cilia movement contributes to the formation of ear crystals, this idea had never been tested before," he said. "Our findings show that cilia in the ear do move and demonstrate that cilia movement is needed for ear crystals to assemble in the right place."

According to Hill, the findings offer promise for the treatment of patients with hearing disorders and people with ciliopathies, disorders marked by poor cilia function. These conditions include sperm-related infertility, polycystic kidney disease, lung and respiratory disorders, swelling of the brain, and reversal of the internal organs' sites from one side of the body to the other.

"The idea that physical movement can influence vertebrate development is very provocative," Hill said. "Scientists typically look at whether a particular gene is switched on or off, or if a particular protein is activated that determines if a tissue develops normally. In this case, microscopic currents in the fluid surrounding developing tissue are affecting its development. We need to understand more details of this process and determine how common it is during development."


'/>"/>

Contact: Elaine Schmidt
eschmidt@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2272
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Wrinkle Cream Reviews Site Reveals a Winner for 2008's Best Wrinkle Creams : Wrinkle Cream reviewssite, WrinkleBest.com has released the Editor's Choice for Best Wrinkle Cream of 2008
2. Everything Channels Vision Events Announces the Winners of the Healthcare IT Innovation(TM) Awards
3. Innerscope Research Strengthens Management Team With Three Executive Appointments
4. Exstream Software by HP Announces 2008 Visionary Award Winners : Customers Showcase Innovative Applications Created using the HP Exstream Enterprise Document Automation Solution
5. Winners Announced in 2008 Collegiate Inventors Competition(R)
6. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Congratulates Cy Young Award Winner Cliff Lee
7. Homecoming Veterans Often Face Inner Challenge
8. Emmy Winner Jonathan Jackson With Rock Band Enation Take On Predators & Rapists
9. Bed Bugs on Thanksgiving Dinner Guest List
10. Written Instructions Cut Bleeding Risk for Blood Thinner Use
11. Philips Announces 2008 Winner of American Heart Association-Philips Resuscitation Fellowship Award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... managed services today announced a strategic partnership with Five9 (Nasdaq: FIVN), a ... Altura, one of Avaya’s largest Platinum Business Partners, is a leading provider ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center located in Woodbridge, VA. The ... surgical services into a single site. , The new 2 story building houses ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... New Brunswick, New Jersey: This year marks Children’s ... fullest potential. To commemorate the anniversary, the hospital has themed the milestone “Hats Off” ... Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation on Saturday, May 21, at Johnson Park in Piscataway, New ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Bahama (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... Regenerative ... Such breakthroughs in adult stem cell therapy technology, protocols and patient results as have ... emerging field to become a more accessible standard of care for patients worldwide. , ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... , ... Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) has officially broken ground on the ... 3,000 people looked on as the shovels hit the dirt at the community groundbreaking ... During the program, Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, president, LLUH, recapped the history of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... --Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced today the start ... hands-on learning experience is a 12-week summer program, May ... and Internship programs bring participants to ... are provided optional housing free of charge through Diplomat ... Riverfront Residence Hall to foster communication and collaboration among ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 ... Market Size, Share, Development, Growth and Demand Forecast ... Single and Other), by Application (Drug Discovery and ... End Users (Pharmaceuticals, Life Science and Biotechnology, Academic ... P&S Market Research, the global mass spectrometry ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 2016 The World Health Organization (WHO) expanded the ... include adolescents aged 13 years, and above. Effective immediately, the ... adult and adolescent males in the 14 priority countries in ... the first male circumcision device to receive WHO Prequalification on ... Horowitz said: " The expanded use of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: