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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 301; doi:10.3390/ijms17030301

Reduced Connexin26 in the Mature Cochlea Increases Susceptibility to Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Mice

1
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Jiefang Avenue 1277, Wuhan 430022, China
2
Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, 615 Michael Street, Whitehead Bldg Rm#543, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
3
Institute of Otorhinolaryngology, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nicholas Delihas
Received: 20 January 2016 / Revised: 15 February 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2016 / Published: 26 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Abstract

Connexin26 (Cx26, encoded by GJB2) mutations are the most common cause of non-syndromic deafness. GJB2 is thought to be involved in noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). However, the role of Cx26 in NIHL is still obscure. To explore the association between Cx26 and NIHL, we established a Cx26 knockdown (KD) mouse model by conditional knockdown of Cx26 at postnatal day 18 (P18), and then we observed the auditory threshold and morphologic changes in these mice with or without noise exposure. The Cx26 KD mice did not exhibit substantial hearing loss and hair cell degeneration, while the Cx26 KD mice with acoustic trauma experienced higher hearing loss than simple noise exposure siblings and nearly had no recovery. Additionally, extensive outer hair cell loss and more severe destruction of the basal organ of Corti were observed in Cx26 KD mice after noise exposure. These data indicate that reduced Cx26 expression in the mature mouse cochlea may increase susceptibility to noise-induced hearing loss and facilitate the cell degeneration in the organ of Corti. View Full-Text
Keywords: Connexin26; GJB2; noise-induced hearing loss Connexin26; GJB2; noise-induced hearing loss
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhou, X.-X.; Chen, S.; Xie, L.; Ji, Y.-Z.; Wu, X.; Wang, W.-W.; Yang, Q.; Yu, J.-T.; Sun, Y.; Lin, X.; Kong, W.-J. Reduced Connexin26 in the Mature Cochlea Increases Susceptibility to Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Mice. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 301.

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