External and middle ear pathology in TGF-α-deficient animals

Charles G. Wright, Karen S. Robinson, William L. Meyerhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α) is a growth-regulatory peptide found in a wide range of embryonic and adult tissues. TGF-α is produced by keratinocytes and has been reported to be overexpressed in several epidermal diseases, including middle ear cholesteatoma. This report describes ear pathology in the waved-1 mutant mouse, which is severely deficient in TGF-α. Morphologic changes of the external and middle ear were studied histologically in waved-1 mutants 2 weeks to 6.5 months of age. Abnormalities found in the mutants included epidermal hyperplasia of the external ear canal (EAC) and tympanic membrane (TM) and enlargement of specialized sebaceous glands adjacent to the cartilaginous EAC. Sebum and desquamated keratin progressively accumulated within the EAC, displacing the TM into the middle ear. These changes appear similar to those occurring in Mongolian gerbils, which are known to develop cholesteatoma. The alterations found in waved-1 mutants are discussed in relation to the possible involvement of TGF-α in cholesteatoma pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-365
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Otology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 24 1996


  • Cholesteatoma
  • Epidermal hyperplasia
  • Transforming growth factor-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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