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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Neurotrophic factors in the auditory periphery.

Many of the neurotrophic factors promote the survival of developing peripheral sensory neurons, and they might be useful as therapeutic agents in the adult neuronal systems. During development, neurotrophin-3 ( NT-3) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor ( BDNF) mRNAs are expressed in the auditory sensory epithelium, which composes the peripheral target field of the cochlear (spiral) neurons. NT-3 mRNA is also expressed in the inner hair cells of the mature organ of Corti. mRNAs encoding their signal-transducing receptors, TrkC and TrkB, respectively, are expressed in the cochlear neurons. In addition to neurotrophins, which seem to have an important role during development, another neurotrophic factor, glial cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), seems to be involved in the maintenance of postnatal auditory neurons. In the present work, the cellular distribution of neurotrophins and GDNF in the developing and adult rat inner ear are compared. The effects of recombinant neurotrophins and GDNF on dissociated cochlear neurons in vitro are also compared. Recently, NT-3 and BDNF were used in vivo as therapeutic agents to protect guinea pig cochlear neurons from aminoglycoside- induced degeneration and GDNF from noise-induced degeneration. These data demonstrate that NT-3, BDNF, and GDNF might be potential candidates for prevention of degeneration of the auditory nerve in man.[1]


  1. Neurotrophic factors in the auditory periphery. Qun, L.X., Pirvola, U., Saarma, M., Ylikoski, J. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. (1999) [Pubmed]
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