About 35% of patients with 22q11 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), which includes DiGeorge and velocardiofacial syndromes, develops psychiatric disorders, mainly schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. We previously reported that mice carrying a multigene deletion (Df1) that models 22q11DS have reduced prepulse inhibition (PPI), a behavioral abnormality and schizophrenia endophenotype. Impaired PPI is associated with several psychiatric disorders, including those that occur in 22q11DS, and recently, reduced PPI was reported in children with 22q11DS. Here, we have mapped PPI deficits in a panel of mouse mutants that carry deletions that partially overlap with Df1 and have defined a PPI critical region encompassing four genes. We then used single-gene mutants to identify the causative genes. We show that PPI deficits in Df1͞؉ mice are caused by haploinsufficiency of two genes, Tbx1 and Gnb1l. Mutation of either gene is sufficient to cause reduced PPI. Tbx1 is a transcription factor, the mutation of which is sufficient to cause most of the physical features of 22q11DS, but the gene had not been previously associated with the behavioral͞psychiatric phenotype. A likely role for Tbx1 haploinsufficiency in psychiatric disease is further suggested by the identification of a family in which the phenotypic features of 22q11DS, including psychiatric disorders, segregate with an inactivating mutation of TBX1. One family member has Asperger syndrome, an autistic spectrum disorder that is associated with reduced PPI. Thus, Tbx1 and Gnb1l are strong candidates for psychiatric disease in 22q11DS patients and candidate susceptibility genes for psychiatric disease in the wider population.mouse model ͉ psychiatric disease ͉ DiGeorge syndrome ͉ sensorimotor gating C aused by a heterozygous multigene deletion, 22q11 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is a relatively common genetic disorder (1:4,000 live births). Behavioral and psychiatric disorders are a prominent part of the 22q11DS phenotype. In children, these disorders include cognitive defects, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, and problems of social interaction that are increasingly recognized to meet the criteria of autistic spectrum disorder (1, 2), a neurodevelopmental disorder. In adults, high rates of psychotic disorders, especially schizophrenia, have been reported (2-5).It is likely that the pathophysiological basis of many psychiatric disorders is heterogeneous involving multiple genes and environmental factors. Therefore, when they occur frequently in association with a defined genetic defect, as in the case of 22q11DS (3, 4, 6, 7), it offers a unique opportunity to identify causative or contributing genes, especially if a good animal model is available. We developed a mouse model of 22q11DS (8), the Df1͞ϩ mouse, which carries a heterozygous deletion encompassing 22 genes. Df1͞ϩ mice recapitulate many of the cardiovascular defects associated with 22q11DS (8), and they also display abnormal behavior, including impaired sensorimotor gating, as measured by prepulse inhibition (PPI) o...
Balance disorders in elderly patients are associated with an increased risk of falls but are often difficult to diagnose because of comorbid chronic medical problems. We performed a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence of unrecognized benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and associated lifestyle sequelae in a public, inner-city geriatric population. Dizziness was found in 61% of patients, whereas balance disorders were found in 77% of patients. Nine percent were found to have unrecognized BPPV. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the presence of a spinning sensation and the absence of a lightheadedness sensation predicted the presence of unrecognized BPPV. Patients with unrecognized BPPV were more likely to have reduced activities of daily living scores, to have sustained a fall in the previous 3 months, and to have depression. These data indicate that unrecognized BPPV is common within the elderly population and has associated morbidity. Further prospective studies are warranted.
Atoh1 is a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor necessary for the specification of inner ear hair cells and central auditory system neurons derived from the rhombic lip. We used the Cre-loxP system and two Cre-driver lines (Egr2Cre and Hoxb1
The exquisite sensitivity and frequency discrimination of mammalian hearing underlie the ability to understand complex speech in noise. This requires force generation by cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs) to amplify the basilar membrane traveling wave; however, it is unclear how amplification is achieved with sharp frequency tuning. Here we investigated the origin of tuning by measuring sound-induced 2-D vibrations within the mouse organ of Corti in vivo. Our goal was to determine the transfer function relating the radial shear between the structures that deflect the OHC bundle, the tectorial membrane and reticular lamina, to the transverse motion of the basilar membrane. We found that, after normalizing their responses to the vibration of the basilar membrane, the radial vibrations of the tectorial membrane and reticular lamina were tuned. The radial tuning peaked at a higher frequency than transverse basilar membrane tuning in the passive, postmortem condition. The radial tuning was similar in dead mice, indicating that this reflected passive, not active, mechanics. These findings were exaggerated in Tecta C1509G/C1509G mice, where the tectorial membrane is detached from OHC stereocilia, arguing that the tuning of radial vibrations within the hair cell epithelium is distinct from tectorial membrane tuning. Together, these results reveal a passive, frequency-dependent contribution to cochlear filtering that is independent of basilar membrane filtering. These data argue that passive mechanics within the organ of Corti sharpen frequency selectivity by defining which OHCs enhance the vibration of the basilar membrane, thereby tuning the gain of cochlear amplification.
Sound is encoded within the auditory portion of the inner ear, the cochlea, after propagating down its length as a traveling wave. For over half a century, vibratory measurements to study cochlear traveling waves have been made using invasive approaches such as laser Doppler vibrometry. Although these studies have provided critical information regarding the nonlinear processes within the living cochlea that increase the amplitude of vibration and sharpen frequency tuning, the data have typically been limited to point measurements of basilar membrane vibration. In addition, opening the cochlea may alter its function and affect the findings. Here we describe volumetric optical coherence tomography vibrometry, a technique that overcomes these limitations by providing depthresolved displacement measurements at 200 kHz inside a 3D volume of tissue with picometer sensitivity. We studied the mouse cochlea by imaging noninvasively through the surrounding bone to measure sound-induced vibrations of the sensory structures in vivo, and report, to our knowledge, the first measures of tectorial membrane vibration within the unopened cochlea. We found that the tectorial membrane sustains traveling wave propagation. Compared with basilar membrane traveling waves, tectorial membrane traveling waves have larger dynamic ranges, sharper frequency tuning, and apically shifted positions of peak vibration. These findings explain discrepancies between previously published basilar membrane vibration and auditory nerve single unit data. Because the tectorial membrane directly overlies the inner hair cell stereociliary bundles, these data provide the most accurate characterization of the stimulus shaping the afferent auditory response available to date.hearing | cochlea | mechanics | vibrometry | auditory system
An association between birth weight <1500 g (very low birth weight (VLBW)) and hearing loss has been long recognised. As universal hearing screening programmes have become widely implemented and the survival rate of VLBW babies in modern intensive care units has increased, we have gained a substantially better understanding of the nature of this problem. However, many gaps in our knowledge base exist. This review describes recent data on hearing loss in the VLBW population and explains the current level of understanding about the physiological basis underlying the auditory deficits in these patients. Although VLBW alone may not have a severe impact on hearing, it is commonly associated with multiple other risk factors that can alter hearing in a synergistic fashion. Therefore, the risk of hearing loss is substantially higher than in the general newborn population. Also, it is important to perform a more comprehensive audiometric evaluation than standard otoacoustic emission screening for infants who are in the neonatal intensive care unit in order not to miss hearing loss due to retrocochlear pathology. Furthermore, children with VLBW are also at increased risk of experiencing progressive or delayed-onset hearing loss, and thus should continue to have serial hearing evaluations after discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit.
Cholesterol affects diverse biological processes, in many cases by modulating the function of integral membrane proteins. We observed that alterations of cochlear cholesterol modulate hearing in mice. Mammalian hearing is powered by outer hair cell (OHC) electromotility, a membrane-based motor mechanism that resides in the OHC lateral wall. We show that membrane cholesterol decreases during maturation of OHCs. To study the effects of cholesterol on hearing at the molecular level, we altered cholesterol levels in the OHC wall, which contains the membrane protein prestin. We show a dynamic and reversible relationship between membrane cholesterol levels and voltage dependence of prestin-associated charge movement in both OHCs and prestin-transfected HEK 293 cells. Cholesterol levels also modulate the distribution of prestin within plasma membrane microdomains and affect prestin self-association in HEK 293 cells. These findings indicate that alterations in membrane cholesterol affect prestin function and functionally tune the outer hair cell.
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