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Keywords:

  • Noggin;
  • Bmp2;
  • Foxg1-cre;
  • Gfi1-cre;
  • hair cell;
  • cochlea;
  • mouse;
  • hearing

Abstract

The mammalian organ of Corti of the inner ear is a highly sophisticated sensory end organ responsible for detecting sound. Noggin is a secreted glycoprotein, which antagonizes bone morphogenetic proteins 2 and 4 (Bmp2 and Bmp4). The lack of this antagonist causes increased rows of inner and outer hair cells in the organ of Corti. In mice, Bmp2 is expressed transiently in nascent cochlear hair cells. To investigate whether Noggin normally modulates the levels of Bmp2 for hair cell formation, we deleted Bmp2 in the cochlear hair cells using two cre strains, Foxg1cre/+ and Gfi1cre/+. Bmp2 conditional knockout cochleae generated using these two cre strains show normal hair cells. Furthermore, Gfi1cre/+;Bmp2lox/− mice are viable and have largely normal hearing. The combined results of Noggin and Bmp2 mutants suggest that Noggin is likely to regulate other Bmps in the cochlea such as Bmp4. Developmental Dynamics 239:505–513, 2010. Published 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.