Precise cochlear neuronal development is vital to hearing ability. Understanding the developmental process of the spiral ganglion is useful for studying hearing loss aimed at aging or regenerative therapy. Although interspecies differences have been reported between rodents and humans, to date, most of our knowledge about the development of cochlear neuronal development has been obtained from rodent models because of the difficulty in using human fetal samples in this field. In this study, we investigated cochlear neuronal development in a small New World monkey species, the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). We examined more than 25 genes involved in the neuronal development of the cochlea and described the critical developmental steps of these neurons. We also revealed similarities and differences between previously reported rodent models and this primate animal model. Our results clarified that this animal model of cochlear neuronal development is more similar to humans than rodents and is suitable as an alternative for the analysis of human cochlear development. The time course established in this report will be a useful tool for studying primate-specific neuronal biology of the inner ear, which could eventually lead to new treatment strategies for human hearing loss.
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