10 October 2014

Hearing loss study published

HYMS Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences Dr Francisco Rivero is co-author of a study, published in “Human Molecular Genetics,” which has broad implications for the prevention of hearing loss.

In collaboration with researchers at the University College London Ear Institute and the Department of Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield, Dr Rivero’s article is entitled: "Absence of plastin 1 causes abnormal maintenance of hair cell stereocilia and a moderate form of hearing loss in mice".

In the study the authors report about a progressive hearing loss that develops when plastin 1 is missing. Plastin 1 is one of the most abundant components of the “hair” cells of the inner ear. These are the cells responsible for sensing sounds and initiating the transmission of the sound sensation to the brain.

The lack of plastin 1 could make the hair cells more vulnerable to or limit their capacity to repair after noise-induced damage. Identifying the genes critical for hair cell maintenance or repair could help ensure that individuals suffering from genetic defects are better protected from noise exposure.

“Human Molecular Genetics” is an important scientific journal that publishes research papers on all aspects of molecular genetics of human and animal model systems, including the molecular basis of genetic diseases and cancer.

To view the article log on to: http://hmg.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/08/25/hmg.ddu417.long