Keynote Lecture

Dr. Agnieszka J. Szcepek
Charité University Hospital Berlin

The non-sensory cells in auditory periphery

The integrity of sensory epithelium and spiral ganglion neurons in the inner ear is essential for healthy hearing of people and animals. However, in the cochlea, many other cells types are present in the healthy and pathological conditions. Besides their structural significance, not much was known regarding the importance of non-sensory cells for hearing or for the cochlear homeostasis. In the recent years, inner ear macrophages started to be subject of an increasing research interest. Macrophages infiltrate the cochlea following acoustic or ototoxic injury but also inhabit the inner ear there as resident macrophages. The role that the macrophages and other non-sensory cells play in physiology and pathology of the inner ear is a fascinating subject and will be presented during this talk.