© 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Loss of sensory hair cells of the inner ear due to aminoglycoside exposure is a major cause of hearing loss. Using an immortalized multipotent otic progenitor (iMOP) cell line, specific signaling pathways that promote otic cell survival were identified. Of the signaling pathways identified, the PI3K pathway emerged as a strong candidate for promoting hair cell survival. In aging animals, components for active PI3K signaling are present but decrease in hair cells. In this study, we determined whether activated PI3K signaling in hair cells promotes survival. To activate PI3K signaling in hair cells, we used a small molecule inhibitor of PTEN or genetically ablated PTEN using a conditional knockout animal. Hair cell survival was challenged by addition of gentamicin to cochlear cultures. Hair cells with activated PI3K signaling were more resistant to aminoglycoside-induced hair cell death. These results indicate that increased PI3K signaling in hair cells promote survival and the PI3K signaling pathway is a target for preventing aminoglycoside-induced hearing loss.
Jadali, A., & Kwan, K. Y. (2016). Activation of PI3K signaling prevents aminoglycoside-induced hair cell death in the murine cochlea. Biology Open, 5(6), 698–708. https://doi.org/10.1242/bio.016758