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Hear Res. 1994 Feb;73(1):46-56.

Expression of BDNF and NT-3 mRNA in hair cells of the organ of Corti: quantitative analysis in developing rats.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics SJ-40, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 98195.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) are synthesized by inner and outer hair cells of the developing organ of Corti. This raises the possibility that the reorganization of cochlear innervation patterns that occurs postnatally may be influenced by changing levels of neurotrophin expression. To determine if differential expression of BDNF or NT-3 in the inner and outer hair cells correlates with the reorganization of afferent and efferent innervation, we used in situ hybridization techniques to quantify relative levels of transcript biosynthesis in hair cells of developing rats. BDNF transcripts decreased in inner and outer hair cells from E17 to insignificant levels at P4. NT-3 expression was high at E17 in inner and outer hair cells, decreased in outer hair cells by E21, in inner hair cells by P1, remained low during the first postnatal week and was increased in the adult. The decreases in expression of both neurotrophins at birth precede the retraction of afferent nerve terminals from outer hair cells. BDNF and NT-3 transcription decreases substantially in outer hair cells between E21 and P4 when efferent innervation begins, indicating target biosynthesis of these neurotrophins is not likely to be instrumental in efferent target selection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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