BMP4 Signaling is Involved in the Generation of Inner Ear Sensory Epithelia

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BMP4 Signaling is Involved in the Generation of Inner Ear Sensory Epithelia

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Title: BMP4 Signaling is Involved in the Generation of Inner Ear Sensory Epithelia
Author: Li, Huawei; Corrales, Carleton E; Wang, Zhengmin; Zhao, Yanling; Wang, Yucheng; Heller, Stefan; Liu, Hong

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Citation: Li, Huawei, Carleton E Corrales, Zhengmin Wang, Yanling Zhao, Yucheng Wang, Hong Liu, and Stefan Heller. 2005. BMP4 signaling is involved in the generation of inner ear sensory epithelia. BMC Developmental Biology 5: 16.
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Abstract: Background: The robust expression of BMP4 in the incipient sensory organs of the inner ear suggests possible roles for this signaling protein during induction and development of auditory and vestibular sensory epithelia. Homozygous BMP4-/- animals die before the inner ear's sensory organs develop, which precludes determining the role of BMP4 in these organs with simple gene knockout experiments. Results: Here we use a chicken otocyst culture system to perform quantitative studies on the development of inner ear cell types and show that hair cell and supporting cell generation is remarkably reduced when BMP signaling is blocked, either with its antagonist noggin or by using soluble BMP receptors. Conversely, we observed an increase in the number of hair cells when cultured otocysts were treated with exogenous BMP4. BMP4 treatment additionally prompted down-regulation of Pax-2 protein in proliferating sensory epithelial progenitors, leading to reduced progenitor cell proliferation. Conclusion: Our results implicate BMP4 in two events during chicken inner ear sensory epithelium formation: first, in inducing the switch from proliferative sensory epithelium progenitors to differentiating epithelial cells and secondly, in promoting the differentiation of hair cells within the developing sensory epithelia.
Published Version: doi://10.1186/1471-213X-5-16
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