Neurogenesis in the inner ear: The zebrafish statoacoustic ganglion provides new neurons from a Neurod/Nestin-positive progenitor pool well into adulthood

Simone Schwarzer, Nandini Asokan, Oliver Bludau, Jeongeun Chae, Veronika Kuscha, Jan Kaslin, Stefan Hans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The vertebrate inner ear employs sensory hair cells and neurons to mediate hearing and balance. In mammals, damaged hair cells and neurons are not regenerated. In contrast, hair cells in the inner ear of zebrafish are produced throughout life and regenerate after trauma. However, it is unknown whether new sensory neurons are also formed in the adult zebrafish statoacoustic ganglion (SAG), the sensory ganglion connecting the inner ear to the brain. Using transgenic lines and marker analysis, we identify distinct cell populations and anatomical landmarks in the juvenile and adult SAG. In particular, we analyze a Neurod/Nestin-positive progenitor pool that produces large amounts of new neurons at juvenile stages, which transitions to a quiescent state in the adult SAG. Moreover, BrdU pulse chase experiments reveal the existence of a proliferative but otherwise marker-negative cell population that replenishes the Neurod/Nestin-positive progenitor pool at adult stages. Taken together, our study represents the first comprehensive characterization of the adult zebrafish SAG showing that zebrafish, in sharp contrast to mammals, display continued neurogenesis in the SAG well beyond embryonic and larval stages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number176750
Number of pages17
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Inner ear
  • Neuronal stem cells
  • PNS
  • Zebrafish

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