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Dev Neurosci. 1997;19(6):476-87.

The expression of messenger RNAs coding for growth factors, their receptors, and eph-class receptor tyrosine kinases in normal and ototoxically damaged chick cochleae.

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  • 1Vision, Touch and Hearing Research Centre, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Univeristy of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. j.pickles@vthrc.uq.edu.au


Messenger RNAs coding for growth factors and receptor tyrosine kinases were measured by quantitative competitive and by semi-quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction in whole and dissected chick inner ears. The fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor 1 chick embryonic kinase (CEK) 1 was expressed in all structures examined (otocyst, hatchling whole cochlea, cochlear nerve ganglion, and cochlear and vestibular sensory epithelia), although slightly more heavily in the otocyst. The related fibroblast growth factor receptors CEK 2 and 3 were preferentially expressed in the nerve ganglion and in the vestibular sensory epithelium, respectively. FGF1 mRNA was low in early development, increasing to mature levels at around embryonic age 11 days, while FGF2 mRNA was expressed at constant levels at all ages. In response to ototoxic damage, FGF1 mRNA levels were increased in the early damaged cochlear sensory epithelium. Immunohistochemistry for CEK1 showed that normal hair cells expressed the receptor heavily on the hair cell stereocilia, while with early damage, CEK1 came to be expressed heavily on the apical surfaces of the supporting cells. In normal chicks, the CEK4 and CEK8 eph-class receptor tyrosine kinases were expressed relatively heavily by the cochlear nerve ganglion, and CEK10 was expressed relatively heavily by the cochlear hair cell sensory epithelium. The results suggest that the FGF system may be involved in the response of the cochlear epithelium to ototoxic damage. The eph-class receptor tyrosine kinase CEK10 may be involved in cell interactions in the cochlear sensory epithelium, while CEK4 and CEK8 may play a role in the cochlear innervation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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