Somatostatin receptor types 1 and 2 in the developing Mammalian cochlea
SourceDevelopmental Neuroscience, 34, 4, (2012), pp. 342-353
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectNCMLS 6: Genetics and epigenetic pathways of disease ONCOL 3: Translational research
The neuropeptide somatostatin (SST) exerts several important physiological actions in the adult central nervous system through interactions with membrane-bound receptors. Transient expression of SST and its receptors has been described in several brain areas during early ontogeny. It is therefore believed that SST may play a role in neural maturation. The present study provides the first evidence for the developmental expression of SST receptors in the mammalian cochlea, emphasizing their possible roles in cochlear maturation. In the developing mouse cochlea, cells immunoreactive to somatostatin receptor 1 (SSTR1) and somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2) were located in the embryonic cochlear duct on Kolliker's organ as early as embryonic day (E) 14 (E14). At E17, the expression of both receptors was high and already located at the hair cells and supporting cells along the length of the cochlear duct, which have become arranged into the characteristic pattern for the organ of Corti (OC) at this stage. At birth, SSTR1- and SSTR2-containing cells were only localized in the OC. In general, immunoreactivity for both receptors increased in the mouse cochlea from postnatal day (P) 0 (P0) to P10; the majority of immunostained cells were inner hair cells, outer hair cells, and supporting cells. Finally, a peak in the mRNA and protein expression of both receptors is present near the time when they respond to physiological hearing (i.e., hearing of airborne sound) at P14. At P21, SSTR1 and SSTR2 levels decrease dramatically. A similar developmental pattern was observed for SSTR1 and SSTR2 mRNA, suggesting that the expression of the SSTR1 and SSTR2 genes is controlled at the transcriptional level throughout development. In addition, we observed reduced levels of phospho-Akt and total Akt in SSTR1 knockout and SSTR1/SSTR2 double-knockout mice compared with wild-type mice. We know from previous studies that Akt is involved in hair cell survival. Taken together, the dynamic nature of SSTR1 and SSTR2 expression at a time of major developmental changes in the cochlea suggests that SSTR1 and SSTR2 (and possibly other members of this family) are involved in the maturation of the mammalian cochlea.
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