Sensory cell regeneration
Lanford, Pamela National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Rockville, Maryland.
Coffin, Allison Aquatic Bioacoustics Laboratory, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.
Last reviewed:June 2020
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- Receptor cells
- Innate regenerative capabilities
- Therapeutic regenerative strategies
- Notch signaling pathway
- Proneural genes
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The replacement of receptor cells within sensory end organs, most commonly via addition of newly differentiated cells to the systems. The process of sensation involves sensory cells (peripheral nerve cells), which obtain information from the environment through the agency of sense organs (retina, cochlea, taste buds, and olfactory epithelium; Fig. 1). Under normal conditions, humans and other organisms use a variety of sensory receptors to detect and interpret information from the surrounding environment. However, these receptors may be damaged by environmental toxins, injury, or overstimulation, thereby reducing the sensory input received by the organism and the ability of the organism to respond appropriately to stimuli. In some sensory systems, such as taste, new sensory receptors are produced on a regular basis. In others, including hearing in humans, the loss of sensory cells is permanent. As a result, researchers have particularly focused on understanding the mechanisms of receptor cell regeneration within the major classes of sensory receptors in vertebrates. See also: Nerve; Nervous system (vertebrate); Regenerative biology; Sensation; Sense organ
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