Potential role of bFGF and retinoic acid in the regeneration of chicken cochlear hair cells

Kenneth H. Lee, Douglas A. Cotanche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Messenger RNAs (mRNA) of several growth factor receptors and related genes were examined with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in normal and noise-damaged chicken basilar papillae (BP). Analysis of the amplification products indicated the presence of mRNAs for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR), insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGFR), insulin receptor (IR), retinoic acid receptor beta (RARβ), retinoic acid receptor gamma (RXRγ), and basic fibroblast growth factor (BFGF) in both normal and noise-damaged BP. The RT-PCR products generated were characterized by size and sequencing analysis to confirm the identities of the target molecules. The subcellular localization of the mature protein analogs for EGFR, FGFR, IGFR, RARβ, and BFGF were identified using fluorescence immunocytochemistry and confocal laser scanning microscopy. These experiments indicated that EGFR is present in the stereociliary bundles in the hair cells, IGFR is not present in the cells of the BP, BFGF localizes in the nuclei of supporting cells in the BP, but not hair cells or hyaline cells, and that RARβ localizes in the perinuclear regions of hair cells. The subcellular distributions of these proteins were consistent in both noise-damaged and control BP. FGFR, in contrast, changed its distribution in the tissue after noise damage. In normal BP, FGFR is concentrated in the stereocilia of hair cells. However, in damaged regions of noise-exposed chick cochleae, FGFR is heavily expressed in the expanded apical regions of the supporting cells. These findings suggest that BFGF and retinoic acid may potentially play a role in the mechanisms which regulate the regeneration of chicken cochlear hair cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 1996


  • Basic fibroblast growth factor
  • Chicken
  • Cochlea
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor
  • Fibroblast growth factor response
  • Hair cell
  • Insulin receptor
  • Insulin-like growth factor receptor
  • Regeneration
  • Retinoic acid
  • Retinoic acid receptor beta
  • Retinoic acid receptor gamma
  • Reverse transcriptase PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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