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J Comp Neurol. 1999 Nov 8;414(1):33-49.

Differential expression of trkB.T1 and trkB.T2, truncated trkC, and p75(NGFR) in the cochlea prior to hearing function.

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1
University of Tübingen, Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

Prior to the onset of hearing, synchronous cellular, neuronal, and morphogenetic processes participate in the development of a functional cochlea. We have studied the expression of different splice forms of trkB and trkC as well as p75(NGFR) in rat and mouse cochlea within this critical developmental period, using in situ hybridization, PCR, Northern blotting, and immunohistochemical analyses. An antibody to full-length trkB receptors proved to detect full-length trkB receptors as well as truncated trkB.T2 but not trkB. T1 isoforms. Full-length trkB and trkC isoforms as well as trkB.T2 but not trkB.T1 receptors were noted in cochlear neurons. A transient expression of trkB.T1 and trkB.T2 was observed at the epithelial-mesenchymal border of the spiral ligament during this time. A sequential appearance of trkB.T1, the low-affinity neurotrophin receptor p75(NGFR), and trkB.T2 in epithelial cochlear cells correlated with the formation of the inner sulcus of the organ. A differential expression of presumptive trkB.T2 in hair and supporting cells was observed concomitant with the maturation of the distinct innervation pattern of these cells. A gradual shift from p75(NGFR) to truncated trkC receptors in Pillar cells occurred during the formation of the tunnel of Corti. A distinct expression of full-length trkC correlated with the time of differentiation of the stria vascularis. Finally, an expression of trkB.T1 and trkB.T2 in oligodendrocytes, full-length trkB and trkC in nerve fibers, and p75(NGFR) in Schwann cells was noted at the glial interface of the VIIIth nerve during the establishment of the glial transition zone. These various transitory neurotrophin receptor expression patterns, which were related to final maturation processes of the cochlea, may provide new insights into the as yet obscure role of neurotrophin receptors in nonneuronal tissue.

PMID:
10494076
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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