Functional expression of transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 in the mouse cochlea


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Abstract

Transient receptor potential vanilloid 4, the Ca2+-permeable cation channel has been proposed as an osmosensitive and a mechanosensitive channel. We investigated functional expression of transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 in inner hair cells, outer hair cells, and spiral ganglion neurons of the mouse cochlea. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 mRNA and protein were expressed in inner hair cells, outer hair cells, and spiral ganglion neurons on the basis of the findings of reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, single-cell reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and immunohistochemistry, whereas they were negative in transient receptor potential vanilloid 4−/− mice cochleae. Hypotonic stimulation and 4-α-phorbol 12,13-didecanoate, a transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 synthetic activator, increased the intracellular Ca2+ concentrations in wild-type outer hair cells, whereas in transient receptor potential vanilloid 4−/− mice, outer hair cells failed to exhibit a Ca2+ response to both stimulations. In conclusion, transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 may function as an osmosensory and a mechanosensory receptor in the cochlea.

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