09:22pm Wednesday 18 October 2017

UNL research connects early childhood with pain, depression in adulthood

Bridget Goosby (Photo: Craig Chandler, University Communications) Bridget Goosby (Photo: Craig Chandler, University Communications)

Lincoln, Neb.  —   A new University of Nebraska-Lincoln study shows that missed meals in childhood can be linked to experiencing pain and depression in adulthood. Depression and chronic pain are experienced by 44 percent of working-aged adults and the study shows a correlation between childhood conditions and pain and depression in adulthood.

            The study by UNL sociologist Bridget Goosby examines how childhood socioeconomic disadvantages and maternal depression increase the risk of major depression and chronic pain in working-aged adults.

            Goosby examined a survey of 4,339 adults from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication looking for a relationship between circumstances in childhood and physical and mental health in working-age adults. She specifically looked at data from adults 25 to 64 years old.

            Goosby said she was surprised to find that experiencing hunger in childhood can lead to chronic pain and depression in adulthood.

            “The most robust child socioeconomic condition was experiencing hunger,” Goosby said. “Kids who missed meals have a much higher risk of experiencing pain and depression in adulthood.”

            Goosby said pain and depression are biologically linked in medical literature and childhood conditions are strongly correlated with the risk of experiencing depression.

            “Childhood conditions that are strongly correlated with the risk of experiencing depression in adulthood, may in fact, also be similar to the childhood conditions that are correlated with chronic pain in adulthood,” Goosby said.

            The study also found that maternal depression had a correlation with adults having depression later in life.

            “Mother’s depression mattered across the board,” Goosby said. “You’re at a higher risk for depression and physical pain if your mother had major depression.”

            Goosby said she was interested in whether childhood disadvantage amplified the risk of experiencing chronic pain or depression in adulthood.

            In the study, Goosby noted that those who grew up with parents with less than 12 years of education had a much higher risk of experiencing chronic pain compared to adults with more highly educated parents,  a disparity that becomes evident  after age 42 and grew larger over time.

            “Adults with parents who have 12 or fewer years of education show substantially larger risks of experiencing chronic pain in adulthood compared to adults with more highly educated parents,” Goosby said.

            With this information, Goosby said she hopes policymakers will pay attention to creating more healthy family dynamics in society and that the study’s results will give policymakers a reason to examine circumstances in early childhood more closely.

            “They can use this information to say we have growing evidence that childhood circumstances affect adult health outcomes,” she said. “People’s choices are constrained by their environments in which they live. We need to create healthy conditions for families.”

            The study, “Early Life Course Pathways of Adult Depression and Chronic Pain,” is forthcoming in the Journal of Health and Behavior.

Writer: Deann Gayman, University Communications, 402-472-8320

Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

BY KRISTA CONGER

Steve Fisch description of photo

Alan Cheng and his colleagues have found a group of cells that give rise to the sensory cells that enable us to hear.

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a group of progenitor cells in the inner ear that can become the sensory hair cells and adjacent supporting cells that enable hearing. Studying these progenitor cells could someday lead to discoveries that help millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss due to damaged or impaired sensory hair cells.

“It’s well known that, in mammals, these specialized sensory cells don’t regenerate after damage,” said Alan Cheng, MD, assistant professor of otolaryngology. (In contrast, birds and fish are much better equipped: They can regain their sensory cells after trauma caused by noise or certain drugs.) “Identifying the progenitor cells, and the cues that trigger them to become sensory cells, will allow us to better understand not just how the inner ear develops, but also how to devise new ways to treat hearing loss and deafness.”

The research was published online Feb. 26 in Development. Cheng is the senior author. Former medical student Taha Jan, MD, and postdoctoral scholar Renjie Chai, PhD, share lead authorship of the study. Roel Nusse, PhD, a professor of developmental biology, is a co-senior author of the research.

The inner ear is a highly specialized structure for gathering and transmitting vibrations in the air. The auditory compartment, called the cochlea, is a snail-shaped cavity that houses specialized cells with hair-like projections that sense vibration, much like seaweed waving in the ocean current. These hair cells are responsible for both hearing and balance, and are surrounded by supporting cells that are also critical for hearing.

Twenty percent of all Americans, and up to 33 percent of those ages 65-74, suffer from hearing loss. Hearing aids and, in severe cases, cochlear implants can be helpful for many people, but neither address the underlying cause: the loss of hair cells in the inner ear. Cheng and his colleagues identified a class of cells called tympanic border cells that can give rise to hair cells and the cells that support them during a phase of cochlear maturation right after birth.

“Until now, these cells have had no clear function,” said Cheng. “We used several techniques to define their behavior in cell culture dishes, as well as in mice. I hope these findings will lead to new areas of research to better understand how our ears develop and perhaps new ways to stimulate the regeneration of sensory cells in the cochlea.”

Cheng recently received a grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to study the limited regeneration of the same sensory hair cells that occur in a different region of the inner ear called the vestibular system, which helps us balance. Lessons learned there may also translate into aid for patients with hearing loss.

Although regeneration of sensory hair cells does not happen naturally, recent research has suggested that the mammalian ear may harbor a sub-population of — presumably inactive — progenitor cells. The research team led by Cheng and Nusse used a strain of laboratory mice that allowed the scientists to track the activation of a cell-signaling pathway driven by a protein called Wnt. The Wnt pathway has previously been shown to be involved in many developmental functions, and it drives the renewal and proliferation of many types of stem cells.

“We wanted to investigate the Wnt pathway because of its tremendous influence in the development and regeneration of many other organs,” said Cheng.

The researchers found that tympanic border cells, or TBCs, which form a thin layer under the sensory epithelium, are actively dividing in mice during the first three weeks after birth (the time corresponding to about the first trimester of human development, during which the ability to hear is established) and give rise to at least a subset of sensory and non-sensory cells in the ear. They also divided vigorously in isolated cochlea when the Wnt pathway was activated, and stopped when the pathway was inhibited. Finally, the researchers showed that purified TBCs were able to specialize into hair cells and support cells when cultured in a laboratory dish.

“It’s surprising to think that these progenitor cells are among this largely underappreciated group of cells,” said Cheng. “This study also highlights that, even in mice, there is a lot of maturation occurring after birth as hearing develops. There’s clearly a lot more to be understood. Next we’d like to look at these cells in models of hearing loss. Do they have the ability to regenerate? If so, under what conditions?”

Other Stanford researchers involved in the study include medical students Zahra Sayyid and Jared Levin; former postdoctoral scholars Renée van Amerongen, PhD, and Saku Sinkkonen, MD, PhD; senior research scientist Anping Xia, MD, PhD; postdoctoral scholars Tian Wang, MD, and Yi Arial Zeng, PhD; and Stefan Heller, PhD, professor of otolaryngology.

The research was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the European Molecular Biology Organization, the Dutch Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health (grants DC010363, DC006167 and DC011043), the American Otological Society, the Triological Society, a Percy Memorial Award, the Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Faculty Scholar Fund, the National Organization for Hearing Research Foundation and the Stanford Initiative to Cure Hearing Loss.
 
Information about Stanford’s Department of Otolaryngology, which also supported the work, is available at http://med.stanford.edu/ohns/.

PRINT MEDIA CONTACT
Krista Conger | Tel (650) 725-5371
kristac@stanford.edu
BROADCAST MEDIA CONTACT
M.A. Malone | Tel (650) 723-6912
mamalone@stanford.edu

Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions – Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. For more information, please visit the Office of Communication & Public Affairs site at http://mednews.stanford.edu/.

– See more at: http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2013/february/ear-hair.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NewsFromStanfordsSchoolOfMedicine+%28News+from+Stanford%27s+School+of+Medicine%29#sthash.TZCPN5OH.dpuf

BY KRISTA CONGER

Steve Fisch description of photo

Alan Cheng and his colleagues have found a group of cells that give rise to the sensory cells that enable us to hear.

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a group of progenitor cells in the inner ear that can become the sensory hair cells and adjacent supporting cells that enable hearing. Studying these progenitor cells could someday lead to discoveries that help millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss due to damaged or impaired sensory hair cells.

“It’s well known that, in mammals, these specialized sensory cells don’t regenerate after damage,” said Alan Cheng, MD, assistant professor of otolaryngology. (In contrast, birds and fish are much better equipped: They can regain their sensory cells after trauma caused by noise or certain drugs.) “Identifying the progenitor cells, and the cues that trigger them to become sensory cells, will allow us to better understand not just how the inner ear develops, but also how to devise new ways to treat hearing loss and deafness.”

The research was published online Feb. 26 in Development. Cheng is the senior author. Former medical student Taha Jan, MD, and postdoctoral scholar Renjie Chai, PhD, share lead authorship of the study. Roel Nusse, PhD, a professor of developmental biology, is a co-senior author of the research.

The inner ear is a highly specialized structure for gathering and transmitting vibrations in the air. The auditory compartment, called the cochlea, is a snail-shaped cavity that houses specialized cells with hair-like projections that sense vibration, much like seaweed waving in the ocean current. These hair cells are responsible for both hearing and balance, and are surrounded by supporting cells that are also critical for hearing.

Twenty percent of all Americans, and up to 33 percent of those ages 65-74, suffer from hearing loss. Hearing aids and, in severe cases, cochlear implants can be helpful for many people, but neither address the underlying cause: the loss of hair cells in the inner ear. Cheng and his colleagues identified a class of cells called tympanic border cells that can give rise to hair cells and the cells that support them during a phase of cochlear maturation right after birth.

“Until now, these cells have had no clear function,” said Cheng. “We used several techniques to define their behavior in cell culture dishes, as well as in mice. I hope these findings will lead to new areas of research to better understand how our ears develop and perhaps new ways to stimulate the regeneration of sensory cells in the cochlea.”

Cheng recently received a grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to study the limited regeneration of the same sensory hair cells that occur in a different region of the inner ear called the vestibular system, which helps us balance. Lessons learned there may also translate into aid for patients with hearing loss.

Although regeneration of sensory hair cells does not happen naturally, recent research has suggested that the mammalian ear may harbor a sub-population of — presumably inactive — progenitor cells. The research team led by Cheng and Nusse used a strain of laboratory mice that allowed the scientists to track the activation of a cell-signaling pathway driven by a protein called Wnt. The Wnt pathway has previously been shown to be involved in many developmental functions, and it drives the renewal and proliferation of many types of stem cells.

“We wanted to investigate the Wnt pathway because of its tremendous influence in the development and regeneration of many other organs,” said Cheng.

The researchers found that tympanic border cells, or TBCs, which form a thin layer under the sensory epithelium, are actively dividing in mice during the first three weeks after birth (the time corresponding to about the first trimester of human development, during which the ability to hear is established) and give rise to at least a subset of sensory and non-sensory cells in the ear. They also divided vigorously in isolated cochlea when the Wnt pathway was activated, and stopped when the pathway was inhibited. Finally, the researchers showed that purified TBCs were able to specialize into hair cells and support cells when cultured in a laboratory dish.

“It’s surprising to think that these progenitor cells are among this largely underappreciated group of cells,” said Cheng. “This study also highlights that, even in mice, there is a lot of maturation occurring after birth as hearing develops. There’s clearly a lot more to be understood. Next we’d like to look at these cells in models of hearing loss. Do they have the ability to regenerate? If so, under what conditions?”

Other Stanford researchers involved in the study include medical students Zahra Sayyid and Jared Levin; former postdoctoral scholars Renée van Amerongen, PhD, and Saku Sinkkonen, MD, PhD; senior research scientist Anping Xia, MD, PhD; postdoctoral scholars Tian Wang, MD, and Yi Arial Zeng, PhD; and Stefan Heller, PhD, professor of otolaryngology.

The research was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the European Molecular Biology Organization, the Dutch Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health (grants DC010363, DC006167 and DC011043), the American Otological Society, the Triological Society, a Percy Memorial Award, the Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Faculty Scholar Fund, the National Organization for Hearing Research Foundation and the Stanford Initiative to Cure Hearing Loss.
 
Information about Stanford’s Department of Otolaryngology, which also supported the work, is available at http://med.stanford.edu/ohns/.

PRINT MEDIA CONTACT
Krista Conger | Tel (650) 725-5371
kristac@stanford.edu
BROADCAST MEDIA CONTACT
M.A. Malone | Tel (650) 723-6912
mamalone@stanford.edu

Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions – Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. For more information, please visit the Office of Communication & Public Affairs site at http://mednews.stanford.edu/.

– See more at: http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2013/february/ear-hair.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NewsFromStanfordsSchoolOfMedicine+%28News+from+Stanford%27s+School+of+Medicine%29#sthash.TZCPN5OH.dpuf

Now hear this: Researchers identify forerunners of inner-ear cells that enable hearing – See more at: http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2013/february/ear-hair.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NewsFromStanfordsSchoolOfMedicine+%28News+from+Stanford%27s+School+of+Medicine%29#sthash.TZCPN5OH.dpuf
Now hear this: Researchers identify forerunners of inner-ear cells that enable hearing – See more at: http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2013/february/ear-hair.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NewsFromStanfordsSchoolOfMedicine+%28News+from+Stanford%27s+School+of+Medicine%29#sthash.TZCPN5OH.dpuf
Now hear this: Researchers identify forerunners of inner-ear cells that enable hearing – See more at: http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2013/february/ear-hair.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NewsFromStanfordsSchoolOfMedicine+%28News+from+Stanford%27s+School+of+Medicine%29#sthash.TZCPN5OH.dpuf

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