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

Neurotrophin-3 transduction attenuates cisplatin spiral ganglion neuron ototoxicity in the cochlea.

Ototoxicity is a major dose-limiting side effect of cisplatin chemotherapy for cancer patients. We previously demonstrated in vitro that herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) amplicon-mediated delivery of a neurotrophin-3 (NT-3)/myc chimera protects spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) in murine cochlear cultures from cisplatin-induced ototoxicity. To extend these findings, a newly constructed amplicon vector (HSVnt-3myc/SV40lac) that expresses the NT-3myc chimera and the Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase (lacZ) reporter gene under separate transcriptional control was initially tested in vitro and then was delivered to the cochlea of aged mice that were subsequently treated with cisplatin. Successful transduction with the new amplicon was observed in vitro as determined by its capacity to infect SGNs and to express NT-3myc mRNA and protein. To determine whether amplicon-directed NT-3myc overexpression could abrogate the ototoxicity in vivo, two groups of aged mice (CBA) were inoculated with HSVnt-3myc/SV40lac or control vector, HSVSV40lac, preceding administration of cisplatin. Cochleas inoculated with HSVnt-3myc/SV40lac harbored significantly greater numbers of surviving SGNs and showed lower incidence of cisplatin-induced apoptosis or necrosis than those injected with the control virus. These data demonstrate that HSV amplicon-mediated NT-3 delivery can attenuate the ototoxic actions of cisplatin in the peripheral auditory system of the aged mouse. The potency of NT-3 in SGN neuroprotection suggests that in vivo neurotrophin-based gene therapy is a promising preventative treatment for chemical-induced hearing disorders, and potentially for hearing degeneration due to normal aging.[1]


  1. Neurotrophin-3 transduction attenuates cisplatin spiral ganglion neuron ototoxicity in the cochlea. Bowers, W.J., Chen, X., Guo, H., Frisina, D.R., Federoff, H.J., Frisina, R.D. Mol. Ther. (2002) [Pubmed]
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