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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2008;21(5-6):437-44. doi: 10.1159/000129636. Epub 2008 Apr 24.

Lack of Tff3 peptide results in hearing impairment and accelerated presbyacusis.

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Division of Molecular Genetics, University of Tübingen, Germany.


Tff peptides are secreted mainly by the gastrointestinal epithelial cells and their primary role is maintaining normal structure and function of mucous epithelia. Ongoing studies on their expression pattern have disclosed other sites of their synthesis thus revealing additional physiological functions in the organism. Here we present new data about Tff3 expression in the cochlea of the rodent inner ear. On the basis of RT-PCR we describe the presence of Tff3 transcripts in both, a mouse cDNA library isolated from whole cochleae from postnatal days 3-15 (P3-P15), and also in cochlear tissue. By using a riboprobe for the fragment containing exon 1, 2 and 3 of Tff3, in situ hybridization, localized Tff3 signals in neurons of spiral ganglion and vestibular organ. We did not observe any abnormalities in the middle ear of Tff3 knock-out mice, neither did histological examination of the inner ear indicate any gross morphological changes in the cochlea. However, ABR (auditory evoked brain stem responses) audiograms revealed that the Tff3 knock-out animals show an accelerated presbyacusis and a hearing loss of about 15 dB at low frequencies increasing to 25 dB loss at higher frequencies. These findings suggest that Tff3 could play a role in neurosensory signaling. Further studies are needed to clarify this new function in the auditory system.

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