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January 22, 2015
Notch inhibition induces mitotically generated hair cells in mammalian cochleae via activating the Wnt pathway

Wenyan Li, Jingfang Wu, Jianming Yang, Shan Sun, Renjie Chai, Zheng-Yi Chen, and Huawei Li. PNAS 2015 112 (1) 166-171; published ahead of print December 22, 2014

This paper highlights the interaction between Notch and Wnt siganlling in the postnatal cochlea, and postulates that Notch pathway prevents the proliferation of  the sensory epithelium, but if Notch is deleted, a  specific subset of supporting cells which are responsive to Wnt signalling, re-enter the cell cycle and follow a differentiation path towards hair-cells in postnatal cochlea. The study is encouraging and gives an explanation to the quiescent state of stem cells in the mature sensory epithelium, suggesting that this state could be reverted this in the adult inner ear.