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J Comp Neurol. 1998 Apr 13;393(3):298-308.

Spatial distributions of retinoic acid receptor gene transcripts in the prenatal mouse inner ear.

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Laboratoire de Neurobiologie, Université Blaise Pascal, Aubière, France.


The expression patterns of the three mouse retinoic acid (RA) receptor gene isotypes (RARalpha, RARbeta, and RARgamma) and retinoid X receptor gene isotypes (RXRalpha, RXRbeta, and RXRgamma) have been investigated by in situ hybridization analysis of their RNA transcripts in the inner ear of mouse fetuses at 18.5 days of gestation. Two RARs (RARalpha and RARgamma) and two RXRs (RXRalpha and RXRbeta) presented an almost ubiquitous transcript distribution with overlapping expression in several regions of the cochlea, such as Kölliker's organ, the organ of Corti, the spiral limbus, and nervous structures. The organ of Corti showed an enhanced in situ labeling with RARalpha and RXRbeta. By contrast, RARbeta and RXRgamma displayed more restricted expression patterns. RXRgamma in particular was strongly expressed in Kölliker's organ and in the spiral ganglion. This expression pattern suggests that RA may be involved in the differentiation of several cochlear cell types. Moreover, the colocalization of several RAR and RXR gene transcripts suggests possible heterodimerization between these receptors in several regions of the cochlea.

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