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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name



Molecular Biology and Genetics

First Advisor

Zhengqing Hu


The auditory cortex (AC) denotes the maximum level of the central auditory system in mammals. Cortical deafness is a form of sensorineural hearing loss caused by damage to the primary auditory cortex. Recent advances in stem cell technology provide new approaches for the treatment of human hearing loss using stem cell-based replacement therapy. In this study, we were able to generate AC-derived neural stem cells (NSCs) using defined culture media. Moreover, stimulation of their neuronal differentiation was tested through the usage of 4 different media (culture media without NGF, with NGF, astrocyte-conditioned medium and neurotrophins). It was found that AC-derived cells demonstrate NSC characteristics on both gene and protein expressions levels. In addition, AC-derived NSCs are able to differentiate into neuron-like cells. Stimulation of their neurite outgrowths was tested upon usage of neurotrophins (BDNF & NT-3) as well. This study suggested that BDNF+NT-3 increased neuronal differentiation yield as well as neurite outgrowth length of AC-derived neuron-like cells significantly.

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