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Hear Res. 1993 Feb;65(1-2):125-32.

Genetics of age-related hearing loss in mice: I. Inbred and F1 hybrid strains.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Ohio.


The auditory-evoked brainstem response (ABR) was used to assess hearing loss in five inbred strains of mice and all ten combinations of F1 hybrids. The inbred strains are CBA/H-T6J (CH), DBA/2J (D2), C57BL/6J (B6), BALB/cByJ (BY) and WB/ReJ (WB). The F1 hybrids are CHD2, CHB6, CHBY, CHWB, D2B6, D2BY, D2WB, B6BY, B6WB, and BYWB. At middle age (12, 16 months), mice were tested with click stimuli. At a relatively old age (23 months, near inbreds' median life span), they were tested with both click and tone-pip stimuli. The CH mice and their four F1 hybrid strains exhibit lower thresholds than the other strains, with the F1 strains being most sensitive (i.e., hybrid vigor). The D2 inbred and the three D2 F1 hybrids (excluding CHD2) exhibit the earliest and most severe hearing losses. The B6, BY and WB inbred strains exhibit severe hearing losses between 16 and 23 months of age; however, the B6BY, B6WB and BYWB F1 hybrids have significantly lower thresholds than their parental strains (genetic complementation). These data support a genetic model for recessive alleles at three different loci which contribute to age-related hearing loss. The CH mice have none of the recessive alleles, and the D2 mice are homozygous recessive for all three; the B6, BY and WB inbred strains are homozygous recessive respectively for one of the three loci.

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