Gene Expression Patterns in Functionally Different Cochlear Compartments of the Newborn Rat
- Johann Gross
- Heidi Olze
- Birgit Mazurek
In an experimental model of organotypic cultures of the stria vascularis (SV), the organ of Corti (OC) and the modiolus (MOD), we compared the expression levels and injury/hypoxia induced response of 36 genes associated with the cells´ energy-producing and energy-consuming processes, using the microarray technique. A decrease of expression was observed for most of the voltage-dependent K+- and Ca++- channels as an effective mechanism to lower energetic demands. We identified two gene networks of transcripts that are differentially expressed across the three regions. One cluster is associated with the transcription factor hypoxia-inducing factor (Hif-1a) and the second one with the caspase and calpain cell death genes Casp3, Capn1, Capn2 and Capns1. The Hif-1a gene subset consists of genes belonging to the glucose metabolism (glucose transporter Slc2a1, glycolytic enzymes Gapdh, Hk1 and Eno2), the Na+/K+ homeostasis (ATPase Atp1a1) and the glutamate pathway (NMDA receptor associated protein 1 Grina, glutamate transporter Slc1a1, Slc1a3). The Slc2a1, Gapdh, Hk1, Slc1a3, Grina and Atp1a1 transcripts are also members of the cell death subset indicating a role they have to play in the differential regional cell death rates. The newly identified genes Grina and calnexin (Canx) may play specific and yet unknown roles in regulating cell death induced by injury and hypoxia in the inner ear. We assume that the differential regional response occurs on the basis of endogenous gene regulatory mechanisms and may be important to maintaining the cochlea’s function following damage from trauma and hypoxia.
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- Grace BrownEditorial Assistant