International Mammalian Genome Society

The 13th International Mouse Genome Conference
October 31-November 3, 1999

Table of Contents * Structure * Bioinformatics * Sequence * Mapping * New Tools * Gene Discovery * Developmental * Mutagenesis * Functional Genomics

G29 Visualization of Alpha 9 AChR Expression in Hair Cells of Transgenic Mice Containing Modified BAC

Jian Zuo1, Jason Treadaway1, Bernd Fritzsch2. 1Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105; 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178

Alpha 9 acetylcholine receptor (a9 AChR) is specifically expressed in hair cells of the inner ear, and is believed to be involved in synaptogenesis between the efferent nerves and the hair cells. Using a recently developed method, we modified a bacterial artificial chromosome containing the mouse a9 AChR gene with a reporter gene encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) to generate transgenic mice that expressed GFP specifically in hair cells. GFP expression recapitulated the known temporal and spatial expression of a9 AChR in transgenic mice. However, we observed previously unidentified dynamic changes in a9 AChR expression in cochlear and vestibular sensory epithelia during neonatal development. In cochlea, inner hair cells persistently express high levels of a9 AChR in both apical and middle turns, while both outer and inner hair cells display dynamic changes of a9 AChR expression in the basal turn. In utricle, we observed high levels of a9 AChR expression in striola during early neonatal development, and high levels of a9 AChR in extrastriola in adult. Furthermore, simultaneous visualization of efferent innervation and a9 AChR expression in vivo showed that dynamic expression of a9 AChR in developing hair cells is independent of efferent innervation. The patterns of a9 AChR expression in developing auditory and vestibular sensory epithelia appeared to correlate with maturation of hair cells.

This work was supported in part by NIH Cancer Center Support CORE grant CA21765, by the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), by a Research Grant #5-FY98-0725 from the March of Dimes Birth defects foundation (J.Z.), and by NIDCD grant DC00215-14A1 (B.F.).


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