Lgr5+ supporting cells (SCs) are enriched hair cell (HC) progenitors in the cochlea, and several studies have shown a difference in the proliferation and HC regeneration ability of SCs between the apical and basal turns. However, the detailed differences between the transcriptomes of the apical and basal Lgr5+ SCs have not yet been investigated. We found that when isolated by FACS, Lgr5+ cells from the apex generated significantly more HCs and had significantly higher proliferation and mitotic HC regeneration ability compared to those from the base. Next, we used microarray analysis to determine the transcriptome expression profiles of Lgr5+ progenitors from the apex and the base. We first analyzed the genes that were enriched and differentially expressed in Lgr5+ progenitors from the apex and the base. Then we analyzed the cell cycle genes and the transcription factors that might regulate the proliferation and differentiation of Lgr5+ progenitors. Lastly, to further analyze the role of differentially expressed genes and to gain an overall view of the gene network in cochlear HC regeneration, we created a protein-protein interaction network. Our datasets suggest the possible genes that might regulate the proliferation and HC regeneration ability of Lgr5+ progenitors, and these genes might provide new therapeutic targets for HC regeneration in the future.
- Wnt signaling