CEXS-UPF: Scientists show in 4D-imaging how neuronal and sensory cells form in the ear

CEXS-UPF: Scientists show in 4D-imaging how neuronal and sensory cells form in the ear

News from CEXS-UPF

A study published in journal eLife provides images in 4D of the embryonic development of the inner ear in zebrafish, providing a new insight into the formation of this organ. The inner ear is responsible for balance and hearing and its specialized cells known as hair cells detect sounds and position. This information is passed on to other cells called sensory neurons, which relay the information to the brain . Both of these cell types originate from a pool of "progenitors" located in an embryonic structure called the otic vesicle, where the progenitor cells follow different sets of instructions to make hair cells or sensory neurons. 

By using high resolution imaging techniques, the scientific team led by Cristina Pujades, researcher at the Department of Experimental Sciences and Health of UPF, has reconstructed the dynamic event histories of individual hair cells and sensory neurons in the inner ear of zebrafish embryos within their native context. The combination of 4D microscopy with other imaging tools has allowed them to create a dynamic map of the progenitor cells of the optic vesicle.

4D microscopy includes the temporal magnitude, why it is so useful for embryonic development studies: in addition to visualizing the samples in 3D format, the movements of the cells in time are recorded. 

More information:
CEXS-UPF website

Reference work:
Sylvia Dyballa, Thierry Savy, Philipp Germann, Karol Mikula, Mariana Remesikova, RóbertŠpir, Andrea Zecca, Nadine Peyriéras, Cristina Pujades. Distribution of neurosensory progenitor pools during inner ear morphogenesis unveiled by cell lineage reconstruction. eLife 2017; doi:10.7554/eLife.22268