Inner hair cells in cochlear explant cultures. Hair cells are stained with Myo7a in red and nuclei in blue. Green-phalloidin shows stereocilia, which are the mechanosensing organelles of hair cells.
A utricle, the inner ear’s detector of linear acceleration (e.g., gravity). Type I vestibular hair cells are labeled in green; Type II hair cells in blue.
A close-up of hair cells at the edge of the sensory path in a developing utricle. Mature hair cells are stained in purple, newly generated hair cells in green.
Vestibular neurons and axons in the inner ear. Variations in color correspond to depth in three-dimensional space.
SELECT PRESENTATIONS and PUBLICATIONS
Palermo, A., Zhang, X., Arun Senapati, Goodliffe, J., Pan, B., Quigley, T., Smith, L., Weber, P., Cancelarich, S., Velez, D., Gibson, T., Becker, L., Pan, N., Sabin, L., Drummond, M., Whitton, J. (2021). Development of an AAV-Based Gene Therapy for Children With Congenital Hearing Loss Due to Otoferlin Deficiency (DB-OTO). Annual Association for Research in Otolaryngology Annual MidWinter Meeting, February 2021.
This presentation provided an overview of preclinical DB-OTO data from mice and non-human primates.
Pregernig, G., So, K., Kowalczyk, M., Zhang, X., Senapati, A., Pan, B., Pan, N., Becker, L., Sabin, L., Drummond, M., Whitton, J., Palermo., A. (2021). Mechanisms of Promoter-Driven AAV Toxicity in the Ear. Annual Association for Research in Otolaryngology Annual MidWinter Meeting, February 2021.
This presentation highlighted potential mechanisms of ubiquitous promoter-driven AAV toxicity in the ear.
Weber, P., Corrales, E., Kohler, S., Senapati, A., Goodliffe, J., Quigley, T., Becker, L., Shi, F., Gibson, T., Smith, L., Alterman, E., Enerson, B., Pan, N., Zhang, X., Drummond, M., Sabin, L., Cancelarich, S., Palermo, A., Whitton, J. (2021). Safely Delivering Adeno-Associated Viral Vectors to the Ear for Therapeutics. Annual Association for Research in Otolaryngology Annual MidWinter Meeting, February 2021.
This presentation included data in which dual vector AAV and Decibel’s cell-selective promoter drove highly selective expression of GFP in hair cells of non-human primates.
Becker, L., Gibson, T., Koehler, S., Whitton, J., Sabin, L., Drummond, M., Beyman, M., Shi, F., Smith, L., Nguyen, R., Liu, S., Weber, P., Chien, W., Corrales, C., Palermo, A. (2021). Inner Ear Tropism of Natural and Engineered AAV Serotypes in Non-Human Primate Enables Therapeutic Targeting of a Diverse Set of Cochlear Cell Types. Annual Association for Research in Otolaryngology Annual MidWinter Meeting, February 2021.
This poster demonstrated that a variety of capsids are able to transduce inner hair cells of the inner ear in non-human primates and that the presence of neutralizing antibodies was not observed to impact transduction.
Shuohao, S., Babola, T., Pregernig, G., Bergles, D.E., Burns, J.C. & Mueller, U. (2018). Hair Cell Mechanotransduction Regulates Spontaneous Activity and Spiral Ganglion Subtype Specification in the Auditory System. Cell, 174(5), 1247-1263.
One of the major challenges to realizing the potential of synaptopathy rodent models is that current clinical audiometric approaches cannot yet reveal the presence of this subtle cochlear pathology in humans. This paper frames the key outstanding translational questions that need to be addressed to develop and realize hearing therapeutics.
Hickox, A. E., Larsen, E., Heinz, M. G., Shinobu, L., & Whitton, J. P. (2017). Translational issues in cochlear synaptopathy. Hearing research, 349, 164-171.
Synaptopathy is undetectable by current clinical audiometric measurements in rodent models. This review outlines the key translational questions that need answering to diagnose synaptopathy.
Burns, J. C., & Stone, J. S. (2017). Development and regeneration of vestibular hair cells in mammals. Seminars in cell & developmental biology, 65, 96-105.
Damage to the vestibular system occurs in many different cell types. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge on development, damage, and regeneration of sensory cell types in the mammalian vestibular system and highlights critical information gaps that must be addressed before new therapies for vestibular dysfunction can be defined.