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Analysis of Cochlear Protein Profiles of Wistar, Sprague−Dawley, and Fischer 344 Rats with Normal Hearing Function

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posted on 06.07.2009 by Samson Jamesdaniel, Dalian Ding, Mohammad Habiby Kermany, Haiyan Jiang, Richard Salvi, Donald Coling
Differences in the expression of cochlear proteins are likely to affect the susceptibility of different animal models to specific types of auditory pathology. However, little is currently known about proteins that are abundantly expressed in inner ear. Identification of these proteins may facilitate the search for biomarkers of susceptibility and intervention targets. To begin to address this issue, we analyzed cochlear protein profiles of three strains of rats, Wistar, Sprague−Dawley, and Fischer 344, using a broad spectrum antibody microarray. Normal hearing function of the animals was ascertained using distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE). Of 725 proteins screened in whole cochlea, more than 80% were detected in all three strains. However, there were striking differences in the levels at which they occur. Among 213 proteins expressed at levels ≥2 fold of actin, only 7.5% were detected at these levels in all three strains. Myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) was immunolocalized in cuticular plate of outer hair cells (OHC) while mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinase−extracellular-signal regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2) was detected as foci in OHC, pillar cells, strial marginal cells, and fibroblasts of spiral ligament. A review of literature indicated that the expression of 7 (44%) of these 16 proteins were detected for the first time in the inner ear, although there were implications of the presence of some of these proteins. One of these abundant, but unstudied, proteins, MAP kinase activated protein kinase2 (MAPKAPK2), shows strong immunolabeling in pillar cells and inner hair cells (IHC). There was moderate MAPKAPK2 labeling in OHC, supporting cells, neurons, and marginal, intermediate, and basal cells. The current study provides the first, large cochlear protein profile of multiple rat strains. The diversity in expression of abundant proteins in these strains may contribute to differences in susceptibility of these strains to aging, noise, or ototoxic drugs.

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