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Postnatal developmental expression of the PDZ scaffolds Na+ -H+ exchanger regulatory factors 1 and 2 in the rat cochlea.

Kanjhan R., Hryciw D.H., Yun C.C., Bellingham M.C., Poronnik P.

Sensory transduction in the mammalian cochlea requires the maintenance of specialized fluid compartments with distinct ionic compositions. This is achieved by the concerted action of diverse ion channels and transporters, some of which can interact with the PDZ scaffolds, Na(+)-H(+) exchanger regulatory factors 1 and 2 (NHERF-1, NHERF-2). Here, we report that NHERF-1 and NHERF-2 are widely expressed in the rat cochlea, and that their expression is developmentally regulated. Reverse transcription/polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blotting initially confirmed the RNA and protein expression of NHERFs. We then performed immunohistochemistry on cochlea during various stages of postnatal development. Prior to the onset of hearing (P8), NHERF-1 immunolabeling was prominently polarized to the apical membrane of cells lining the endolymphatic compartment, including the stereocilia and cuticular plates of the inner and outer hair cells, marginal cells of the stria vascularis, Reissner's epithelia, and tectorial membrane. With maturation (P21, P70), NHERF-1 immunolabeling was reduced in the above structures, whereas labeling increased in the apical membrane of the interdental cells of the spiral limbus and the inner and outer sulcus cells, Hensen's cells, the inner and outer pillar cells, Deiters cells, the inner border cells, spiral ligament fibrocytes, and spiral ganglion neurons (particularly type II). NHERF-1 expression in strial basal and intermediate cells was persistent. NHERF-2 immunolabeling was similar to that for NHERF-1 during postnatal development, with the exception of expression in the synaptic regions beneath the outer hair cells. NHERF-1 and NHERF-2 co-localized with glial fibrillary acidic protein and vimentin in glia. The cochlear localization of NHERF scaffolds suggests that they play important roles in the developmental regulation of ion transport, homeostasis, and auditory neurotransmission.

Cell Tissue Res. 323:53-70(2006) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]