Send to

Choose Destination
J Comp Neurol. 1999 Mar 8;405(2):271-80.

Tectorin mRNA expression is spatially and temporally restricted during mouse inner ear development.

Author information

School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, United Kingdom.


The tectorial and otolithic membranes are extracellular matrices that cover the sensory epithelia of the inner ear. They are required for mechanotransduction and may influence hair-cell development. The mRNA expression patterns for two major glycoproteins of these matrices, alpha- and beta-tectorin, were examined during mouse inner ear development to determine when and where these proteins are produced relative to hair cells and whether tectorin production is continuous or transient. Using in situ hybridisation, alpha- and beta-tectorin mRNAs are first detected in the basal end of the cochlea at embryonic day (E) 12.5, and the distinct patterns observed for each tectorin mRNA in the neonate become visible by E14.5. The neonatal expression patterns indicate that some cell types in the cochlea express both alpha- and beta-tectorin mRNAs, while other cells only express one tectorin mRNA. Although expressed early in development, alpha- and beta-tectorin mRNAs cannot be detected in the cochlea by postnatal day (P) 22. In the saccule and utricle, alpha-tectorin mRNA is detected at E12.5, but beta-tectorin mRNA is not observed until E14.5. Expression of alpha-tectorin mRNA ceases after P15, whereas beta-tectorin mRNA expression continues within the striolar region of the utricle until at least P150. The results show alpha- and beta-tectorin mRNAs are expressed during the early stages of inner ear development, prior to or concomitant with hair-cell differentiation, and before the appearance of hair bundles. The expression patterns suggest different cell types contribute to the formation of the various regions of the tectorial membrane. Although tectorin mRNAs are only expressed transiently during cochlear development, beta-tectorin mRNA is continuously expressed within the striolar region of the utricle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center