• ADAM ;
  • chicken embryo;
  • cochlea;
  • gene expression

Members of the ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloprotease) family are type I transmembrane proteins involved in biological processes of proteolysis, cell adhesion, cell–matrix interaction, as well as in the intracellular signaling transduction. In the present study, expression patterns of seven members of the ADAM family were investigated at the early stages of the developing cochlea by in situ hybridization. The results show that each individual ADAM is expressed and regulated in the early developing cochlea. ADAM9, ADAM10, ADAM17, and ADAM23 are initially and widely expressed in the otic vesicle at embryonic day 2.5 (E2.5) and in the differential elements of the cochlear duct at E9, while ADAM12 is expressed in acoustic ganglion cells at E7. ADAM22 is detectable in cochlear ganglion cells as early as from E4 and in the basilar papilla from E7. Therefore, the present study extends our previous results and suggests that ADAMs also play a role in the early cochlear development.