Gata2 is required for the development of inner ear semicircular ducts and the surrounding perilymphatic space



Gata2 has essential roles in the development of many organs. During mouse inner ear morphogenesis, it is expressed in otic vesicle and the surrounding periotic mesenchyme from early on, but no defects in the ear development of Gata2 null mice have been observed before lethality at embryonic day (E) 10.5. Here, we used conditional gene targeting to reveal the role of Gata2 at later stages of inner ear development. We show that Gata2 is critically required from E14.5–E15.5 onward for vestibular morphogenesis. Without Gata2 the semicircular ducts fail to grow to their normal size and the surrounding mesenchymal cells are not removed properly to generate the perilymphatic space. Gata2 is the first factor known to control the clearing of the vestibular perilymphatic mesenchyme, but interestingly, it is not required for the formation of the cochlear perilymphatic areas, suggesting distinct molecular control for these processes. Developmental Dynamics 239:2452–2469, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.