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Comparative expression patterns of T-, N-, E-cadherins, beta-catenin, and polysialic acid neural cell adhesion molecule in rat cochlea during development: implications for the nature of Kolliker's organ.

Authors: Simonneau, L  Gallego, M  Pujol, R 
Citation: Simonneau L, etal., J Comp Neurol 2003 Apr 28;459(2):113-26.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:12640664
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1002/cne.10604

We investigated the expression patterns of several cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) during rat cochlea ontogeny, from embryo day 16 to adulthood, with the use of immunohistochemistry: neural cadherin (N-cad) and polysialic acid neural CAM (PSA-NCAM) as two different neural CAM paradigms; epithelial cadherin (E-cad), which was restricted to the epitheloid phenotype; and the cytoplasmic domain-free truncated-cadherin (T-cad). We made the following observations. (1) T-cad was present in all types of fibrocyte and in subdomains within the pillar cells. (2) E- and N-cad were expressed with mutually exclusive patterns and did not overlap with T-cad. All cochlear epithelial cells, including the sensory outer hair cells (OHCs), were E-cad-positive, except for the negative inner hair cells (IHCs) and the nonsensory Kolliker's organ domain close to the IHCs. N-cad expression appeared first in the developing IHCs and then in the neighboring Kolliker's organ in an increasingly mediolateral gradient in opposition to the E-cad gradient. The OHCs, which are never N-cad positive, intensively expressed E-cad, as did the Hensen cells at the beginning of their differentiation. (3) The cadherin-linked molecule beta-catenin, absent in fibrocytes, was detected in all epithelial cell membranes and was prominent in the E-cad-rich modiolar extremity of Kolliker's organ. (4) Gradual PSA-NCAM expression was observed in the lateral portion of Kolliker's organ, and the intense PSA-NCAM expression was seen surrounding the IHCs. As development proceeded, PSA-NCAM immunoreactivity progressively became restricted to the basal poles of the IHCs, where it remained in the adult rat cochlea, suggesting a synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity in rat cochlea and hypotheses about T-cad functions and neosensory features of the Kolliker's organ are discussed.

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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 1299192
Created: 2004-06-01
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2004-06-01
Status: ACTIVE



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