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Keywords:

  • cadherin;
  • cochlea;
  • gene expression pattern;
  • chicken development

Abstract

In this study, we demonstrate that eight classic cadherins are differentially expressed in distinct anatomical regions of the cochlea during late stages of chicken embryonic development. Cadherin-6B is expressed in hair cells and spindle-shaped cells, while cadherin-8 mRNA is found only in supporting cells. Cadherin-11 is widely expressed not only in mesenchymal cell around the cochlea, but also in supporting cells and homogene cells. N-cadherin is found in the sensory epithelium, the neurons of the acoustic ganglion and on their neurites that target the hair cells. Three closely related cadherins (cadherin-7, cadherin-19, and cadherin-20) are expressed in a partially complementary manner in spindle-shaped cells and acoustic ganglion cells. R-cadherin is observed in homogene cells, acoustic ganglion cells, and their projections to hair cells. The expression of classic cadherins in the developing cochlea suggests a role for cadherins in the development of the cochlea. Developmental Dynamics 236:2331–2337, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.