Lavinia Sheets

Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, Assistant Professor of Developmental Biology

    • 289 Citations

    Research output per year

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    Personal profile

    Research interests

    Hair cells are the sensory receptors of sound, motion, and spatial orientation. Overexposure to loud sounds initiates a series of molecular events in cochlear hair cells that contribute to various hair-cell pathologies: intense noise-exposures induce hair-cell death while moderate-noise exposures contribute to progressive hair-cell synapse loss, postsynaptic retraction, and cochlear nerve degeneration. Our research interests are to understand how specific pathological changes occur in hair cells overexposed to noise by defining the cellular mechanisms driving hair-cell synapse loss and hair-cell death, as well as identifying pathways that promote repair. My lab address these questions using zebrafish as a model for hearing and deafness. Zebrafish afford a powerful model system to uncover the cellular mechanisms of noiseinduced synaptopathy and hair-cell loss. Zebrafish sensory hair cells are homologous to mammalian hair cells, and there is a high conservation of zebrafish deafness gene function compared with humans. In contrast to other vertebrate model organisms, zebrafish hair cells are optically accessible in whole larvae within the ear and the lateral line organ-a sensory organ used to detect the movement of water. Additionally, zebrafish hair cells are amenable to pharmacological manipulation, allowing for large scale drug screening and subsequent examination of hair-cell morphology and function. Moreover, as zebrafish have an extensive capacity for regeneration of complex tissues, including hair cells and afferent neurons, they can be used to identify molecular pathways that promote synapse regeneration following hair-cell damage.

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    Research Output

    • 289 Citations
    • 9 Article
    • 1 Review article

    Transmission disrupted: Modeling auditory synaptopathy in zebrafish

    Kindt, K. S. & Sheets, L., Sep 11 2018, In : Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. 6, SEP, 114.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Open Access
  • 4 Scopus citations

    Ca2+-permeable AMPARs mediate glutamatergic transmission and excitotoxic damage at the hair cell ribbon synapse

    Sebe, J. Y., Cho, S., Sheets, L., Rutherford, M. A., von Gersdorff, H. & Raible, D. W., Jun 21 2017, In : Journal of Neuroscience. 37, 25, p. 6162-6175 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 22 Scopus citations

    Enlargement of ribbons in zebrafish hair cells increases calcium currents but disrupts afferent spontaneous activity and timing of stimulus onset

    Sheets, L., He, X. J., Olt, J., Schreck, M., Petralia, R. S., Wang, Y. X., Zhang, Q., Beirl, A., Nicolson, T., Marcotti, W., Trapani, J. G. & Kindt, K. S., Jan 1 2017, In : Journal of Neuroscience. 37, 26, p. 6299-6313 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 14 Scopus citations
    Open Access
  • 8 Scopus citations

    Synaptic Ribbons Require Ribeye for Electron Density, Proper Synaptic Localization, and Recruitment of Calcium Channels

    Lv, C., Stewart, W. J., Akanyeti, O., Frederick, C., Zhu, J., Santos-Sacchi, J., Sheets, L., Liao, J. C. & Zenisek, D., Jun 21 2016, In : Cell Reports. 15, 12, p. 2784-2795 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 30 Scopus citations