Ferulic acid promotes survival and differentiation of neural stem cells to prevent gentamicin-induced neuronal hearing loss

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Abstract

Neural stem cells (NSCs) have exhibited promising potential in therapies against neuronal hearing loss. Ferulic acid (FA) has been widely reported to enhance neurogenic differentiation of different stem cells. We investigated the role of FA in promoting NSC transplant therapy to prevent gentamicin-induced neuronal hearing loss. NSCs were isolated from mouse cochlear tissues to establish in vitro culture, which were then treated with FA. The survival and differentiation of NSCs were evaluated. Subsequently, neurite outgrowth and excitability of the in vitro neuronal network were assessed. Gentamicin was used to induce neuronal hearing loss in mice, in the presence and absence of FA, followed by assessments of auditory brainstem response (ABR) and distortion product optoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) amplitude. FA promoted survival, neurosphere formation and differentiation of NSCs, as well as neurite outgrowth and excitability of in vitro neuronal network. Furthermore, FA restored ABR threshold shifts and DPOAE in gentamicin-induced neuronal hearing loss mouse model in vivo. Our data, for the first time, support potential therapeutic efficacy of FA in promoting survival and differentiation of NSCs to prevent gentamicin-induced neuronal hearing loss.

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