In silico Single-Cell Analysis of Steroid-Responsive Gene Targets in the Mammalian Cochlea

Lacey Nelson, Braeden Lovett, J. Dixon Johns, Shoujun Gu, Dongseok Choi, Dennis Trune, Michael Hoa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Treatment of many types of hearing instability in humans, including sudden sensorineural hearing loss, Meniere's disease, and autoimmune inner ear disease, rely heavily on the utilization of corticosteroids delivered both by oral and transtympanic routes. Despite this use, there is heterogeneity in the response to treatment with corticosteroids in humans with these diseases. The mechanisms by which corticosteroids exert their effect and the cell types in which they exert their effects in the inner ear remain poorly characterized. In this study, we localize steroid-responsive genes to cochlear cell types using previously published transcriptome datasets from the mammalian cochlea. Methods: Steroid-responsive genes were localized to specific cochlear cell types using existing transcriptome datasets from wild-type mammalian cochlea exposed to systemic and transtympanic steroids, as well as previously published single-cell and single-nucleus RNA-sequencing datasets from the mammalian cochlea. Gene ontology (GO) analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) was performed using PANTHER to investigate cellular processes implicated in transtympanic vs. systemic steroid action in the cochlea. Results: Steroid-responsive genes were localized to specific cell types and regions in the cochlea including the stria vascularis, organ of Corti, and spiral ganglion neurons (SGN). Analyses demonstrate differential prevalence of steroid-responsive genes. GO analysis demonstrated steroid-responsive DEGs in the SGN to be associated with angiogenesis, apoptosis, and cytokine-mediated anti-inflammatory pathways. Conclusions: Single-cell and single-nucleus transcriptome datasets localize steroid-responsive genes to specific regions in the cochlea. Further study of these regionally-specific steroid-responsive genes may provide insight into the mechanisms of and clinical response to corticosteroids in diseases of hearing instability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number818157
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
StatePublished - Jan 25 2022


  • RNA-Seq
  • corticosteroids
  • organ of Corti
  • single cell RNA seq
  • spiral ganglion neurons (SGN)
  • stria vasularis
  • sudden sensorineunal hearing loss
  • transtympanic steroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'In silico Single-Cell Analysis of Steroid-Responsive Gene Targets in the Mammalian Cochlea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this