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J Comp Neurol. 2005 Feb 28;483(1):48-65.

Dlx gene expression during chick inner ear development.

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Gonda Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, House Ear Institute, Los Angeles, California 90057-1922, USA.


Members of the Dlx gene family play essential roles in the development of the zebrafish and mouse inner ear, but little is known regarding Dlx genes and avian inner ear development. We have examined the inner ear expression patterns of Dlx1, Dlx2, Dlx3, Dlx5, and Dlx6 during the first 7 days of chicken embryonic development. Dlx1 and Dlx2 expression was seen only in nonneuronal cells of the cochleovestibular ganglion and nerves from stage 21 to stage 32. Dlx3 marks the otic placode beginning at stage 9 and becomes limited to epithelium adjacent to the hindbrain as invagination of the placode begins. Dlx3 expression then resolves to the dorsal otocyst and gradually becomes limited to the endolymphatic sac by stage 30. Dlx5 and Dlx6 expression in the developing inner ear is first seen at stages 12 and 13, respectively, in the rim of the otic pit, before spreading throughout the dorsal otocyst. As morphogenesis proceeds, Dlx5 and Dlx6 expression is seen throughout the forming semicircular canals and endolymphatic structures. During later stages, both genes are seen to mark the distal surface of the forming canals and display expression complementary to that of BMP4 in the vestibular sensory regions. Dlx5 expression is also seen in the lagena macula and the cochlear and vestibular nerves by stage 30. These findings suggest important roles for Dlx genes in the vestibular and neural development of the avian inner ear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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