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Hear Res. 2001 Apr;154(1-2):45-53.

Hearing loss associated with the modifier of deaf waddler (mdfw) locus corresponds with age-related hearing loss in 12 inbred strains of mice.

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The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME 04609-1500, USA.


The modifier of deaf waddler (mdfw) and age-related hearing loss (Ahl) loci were both discovered as inbred strain polymorphisms that affect hearing loss in mice. Both loci map to the same position on chromosome (Chr) 10. The mdfw locus interacts epistatically with the deaf waddler (dfw) mutation on Chr 6, and the Ahl locus is a major contributor to AHL in several inbred strains. To investigate the possibility of allelism, we examined the correspondence of mdfw and Ahl phenotypes among 12 inbred mouse strains. The effects of strain-specific mdfw alleles on hearing loss were assessed in dfw2J/+ F1 hybrids produced from mating BALB-dfw2J/+ mice with mice from each of 12 inbred strains. F1 hybrids were then assessed for hearing by auditory-evoked brainstem response threshold analysis and classified as dfw2J/+ or +/+ by polymerase chain reaction typing. Heterozygosity for dfw2J accelerated hearing loss in F1 hybrids derived from all strains tested, except those produced with the B6.CAST + Ahl congenic strain. dfw2J/+ F1 hybrids derived from parental strains 129P1/ReJ, A/J, BUB/BnJ, C57BR/cdJ, DBA/2J, NOD/LtJ and SKH2/J exhibited a severe hearing loss by 12 weeks of age. Those derived from strains 129T2/SvEmsJ, C3H/HeJ, CBA/CaJ and NON/LtJ exhibited only a slight to intermediate hearing loss at that age. The hearing loss associated with these strain-specific mdfw alleles corresponds with previously determined Ahl allele effects, providing additional evidence that mdfw and Ahl are manifestations of the same gene. A functional relationship therefore may exist between the Ca2+ transporting activity of the dfw gene (Atp2b2) and AHL.

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