Fig1Purkinjecell Fig2myelinatedaxons SJBfmri1


Jonathan Gale

Cell development and regeneration

The most common cause of deafness and balance disorders is the death of sensory receptor hair cells. In mammals deafness is irreversible because the support cells fail to regenerate new hair cells, whereas in birds and other lower vertebrates hair cells are regenerated. My research focuses on the signalling mechanisms that control repair and regeneration of hair cells. A combination of dynamic imaging, cellular and molecular techniques are being used to study intracellular and intercellular signalling in support cells after hair cells are damaged or killed. Why study the support cells? These are the progenitor cells that divide to produce new hair cells. They surround the hair cells and are analogous to glial cells. In order to understand why mammals fail to regenerate hair cells we are comparing the signalling cascades triggered in avian hair cell epithelia with those triggered in mammalian hair cell epithelia.


1. To study the regulation of hair cell repair and regeneration by cAMP.

2. To study the role of purinoreceptors in hair cell repair and regeneration.

3. To study the role of intercellular calcium waves during inner ear development and regeneration.


Gale J.E., Piazza, V, Ciubotaru C.D.,Mammano F (2004)
A mechanism for sensing noise damage in the inner ear.
Current Biology 14, 526-529

Wood W, Jacinto A, Woolner S, Grose R, Gale J, Wilson C & Martin P (2002)
Wound healing recapitulates morphogenesis – dynamic studies of epithelial repair in Drosophila embryos.
Nature Cell Biology 4, 907-912

Gale J.E, Meyers, J.R., Periasamy, A. & Corwin J.T. (2002)
Survival of bundle-less hair cells and subsequent bundle replacement in the Bullfrog’s saccule
Journal of Neurobiology 50, 81–92.

Gale, J.E, Marcotti, W, Kennedy, H.J, Kros, C.J. & Richardson, G.P. (2001)
FM1-43 dye behaves as a permeant blocker of the hair-cell’s mechanotransducer channel
Journal of Neuroscience 21, 7013–7025


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