Detection of β-actin mRNA by RT-PCR in normal and regenerating chicken cochleae

Kenneth H. Lee, Douglas A. Cotanche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to show that β-actin RNA levels can be detected in total RNA isolations from as new as two cochleae. In functionally mature chicken cochleae, a low homeostatic level of β-actin message should be expressed in order to synthesize enough actin to maintain the stereocilia, cuticular plate, junctional complexes of hair cells and the cytoskeletal components of the supporting cells. The RT-PCR product obtained has been characterized by size, restriction digest analysis, and DNA sequencing analysis. These procedures have confirmed that the product is amplified from a chicken β-actin mRNA target. Subsequently, semi-quantitative RT-PCR techniques were used to demonstrate an upregulation of β-actin mRNA transcription levels in the cells of the basilar papilla during regeneration following damage from acoustic overstimulation. These studies suggest that RT-PCR can be utilized for analysis of limited quantities of tissue such as that found in the chicken cochlea and indicate promise for further qualitative and quantitative studies on the molecular mechanisms of hair cell transduction and regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 1995


  • Actin
  • Chicken
  • Cochlea
  • Hair Cell
  • Regeneration
  • Reverse Transcriptase PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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