Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 428, Issue 1–2, pp 149–159 | Cite as

Therapeutic value of nerve growth factor in promoting neural stem cell survival and differentiation and protecting against neuronal hearing loss



Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a neurotrophic factor that modulates survival and differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs). We investigated the function of NGF in promoting growth and neuronal differentiation of NSCs isolated from mouse cochlear tissue, as well as its protective properties against gentamicin (GMC) ototoxicity. NSCs were isolated from the cochlea of mice and cultured in vitro. Effect of NGF on survival, neurosphere formation, and differentiation of the NSCs, as well as neurite outgrowth and neural excitability in the subsequent in vitro neuronal network, was examined. Mechanotransduction capacity of intact cochlea and auditory brainstem response (ABR) threshold in mice were also measured following GMC treatment to evaluate protection using NGF against GMC-induced neuronal hearing loss. NGF improved survival, neurosphere formation, and neuronal differentiation of mouse cochlear NSCs in vitro, as well as promoted neurite outgrowth and neural excitability in the NSC-differentiated neuronal culture. In addition, NGF protected mechanotransduction capacity and restored ABR threshold in gentamicin ototoxicity mouse model. Our study supports a potential therapeutic value of NGF in promoting proliferation and differentiation of NSCs into functional neurons in vitro, supporting its protective role in the treatment of neuronal hearing loss.


Neurotrophic factor Nerve growth factor Neural stem cell Differentiation Cochlea 



This work was supported by grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC, 81371093) to Zhao Han.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving animal rights

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Informed consent

Not applicable.

Supplementary material

11010_2016_2925_MOESM1_ESM.docx (123 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 123 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otology and Skull Base Surgery, Eye Ear Nose and Throat HospitalFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Auditory Medical CenterShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Hearing ScienceMinistry of HealthShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  5. 5.Department of Pharmacy, Eye Ear Nose & Throat HospitalFudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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