Effects of aging and sensory loss on glial cells in mouse visual and auditory cortices.
ABSTRACT: Normal aging is often accompanied by a progressive loss of receptor sensitivity in hearing and vision, whose consequences on cellular function in cortical sensory areas have remained largely unknown. By examining the primary auditory (A1) and visual (V1) cortices in two inbred strains of mice undergoing either age-related loss of audition (C57BL/6J) or vision (CBA/CaJ), we were able to describe cellular and subcellular changes that were associated with normal aging (occurring in A1 and V1 of both strains) or specifically with age-related sensory loss (only in A1 of C57BL/6J or V1 of CBA/CaJ), using immunocytochemical electron microscopy and light microscopy. While the changes were subtle in neurons, glial cells and especially microglia were transformed in aged animals. Microglia became more numerous and irregularly distributed, displayed more variable cell body and process morphologies, occupied smaller territories, and accumulated phagocytic inclusions that often displayed ultrastructural features of synaptic elements. Additionally, evidence of myelination defects were observed, and aged oligodendrocytes became more numerous and were more often encountered in contiguous pairs. Most of these effects were profoundly exacerbated by age-related sensory loss. Together, our results suggest that the age-related alteration of glial cells in sensory cortical areas can be accelerated by activity-driven central mechanisms that result from an age-related loss of peripheral sensitivity. In light of our observations, these age-related changes in sensory function should be considered when investigating cellular, cortical, and behavioral functions throughout the lifespan in these commonly used C57BL/6J and CBA/CaJ mouse models.
Project description:Inbred strain variants of the Cdh23 gene have been shown to influence the onset and progression of age-related hearing loss (AHL) in mice. In linkage backcrosses, the recessive Cdh23 allele (ahl) of the C57BL/6J strain, when homozygous, confers increased susceptibility to AHL, while the dominant allele (Ahl+) of the CBA/CaJ strain confers resistance. To determine the isolated effects of these alleles on different strain backgrounds, we produced the reciprocal congenic strains B6.CBACa-Cdh23(Ahl)(+) and CBACa.B6-Cdh23(ahl) and tested 15-30 mice from each for hearing loss progression. ABR thresholds for 8 kHz, 16 kHz, and 32 kHz pure-tone stimuli were measured at 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 months of age and compared with age-matched mice of the C57BL/6J and CBA/CaJ parental strains. Mice of the C57BL/6N strain, which is the source of embryonic stem cells for the large International Knockout Mouse Consortium, were also tested for comparisons with C57BL/6J mice. Mice of the C57BL/6J and C57BL/6N strains exhibited identical hearing loss profiles: their 32 kHz ABR thresholds were significantly higher than those of CBA/CaJ and congenic strain mice by 6 months of age, and their 16 kHz thresholds were significantly higher by 12 months. Thresholds of the CBA/CaJ, the B6.CBACa-Cdh23(Ahl)(+), and the CBACa.B6-Cdh23(ahl) strain mice differed little from one another and only slightly increased throughout the 18-month test period. Hearing loss, which corresponded well with cochlear hair cell loss, was most profound in the C57BL/6J and C57BL/6NJ strains. These results indicate that the CBA/CaJ-derived Cdh23(Ahl)(+) allele dramatically lessens hearing loss and hair cell death in an otherwise C57BL/6J genetic background, but that the C57BL/6J-derived Cdh23(ahl) allele has little effect on hearing loss in an otherwise CBA/CaJ background. We conclude that although Cdh23(ahl) homozygosity is necessary, it is not by itself sufficient to account for the accelerated hearing loss of C57BL/6J mice.
Project description:Ca<sup>2+</sup> signaling is a major contributor to sensory hair cell function in the cochlea. Oncomodulin (OCM) is a Ca<sup>2+</sup> binding protein (CaBP) preferentially expressed in outer hair cells (OHCs) of the cochlea and few other specialized cell types. Here, we expand on our previous reports and show that OCM delays hearing loss in mice of two different genetic backgrounds: CBA/CaJ and C57Bl/6J. In both backgrounds, genetic disruption of <i>Ocm</i> leads to early progressive hearing loss as measured by auditory brainstem response (ABR) and distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE). In both strains, loss of <i>Ocm</i> reduced hearing across lifetime (hearing span) by more than 50% relative to wild type (WT). Even though the two WT strains have very different hearing spans, OCM plays a considerable and similar role within their genetic environment to regulate hearing function. The accelerated age-related hearing loss (ARHL) of the <i>Ocm</i> KO illustrates the importance of Ca<sup>2+</sup> signaling in maintaining hearing health. Manipulation of OCM and Ca<sup>2+</sup> signaling may reveal important clues to the systems of function/dysfunction that lead to ARHL.
Project description:Regular exercise significantly slowed age-related hearing loss (AHL) and cochlear degeneration in a well- established murine model. Overall design: We examined the effects of long-term voluntary wheel running on age-related hearing loss in CBA/CaJ mice, a well-established model of AHL. The CBA/CaJ mouse strain displays late-onset age-related hearing loss by 18-20 months of age and is a widely used model of AHL
Project description:This data article provides additional data related to the research article entitled "Simultaneous intrinsic signal imaging of auditory and visual cortex reveals profound effects of acute hearing loss on visual processing" (Teichert and Bolz, 2017) . The primary auditory and visual cortex (A1 and V1) of adult male C57BL/6J mice (P120-P240) were mapped simultaneously using intrinsic signal imaging (Kalatsky and Stryker, 2003) . A1 and V1 activity evoked by combined auditory and visual stimulation were measured before and after conductive hearing loss (CHL) induced by bilateral malleus removal. We provide data showing that A1 responsiveness evoked by sounds of different sound pressure levels (SPL) decreased after CHL whereas visually evoked V1 activity increased after this intervention. In addition, we also provide imaging data on percentage of V1 activity increases after CHL compared to pre-CHL.
Project description:Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a gradual decrease in hearing sensitivity. Previous electrophysiological and behavioral studies have demonstrated that the CBA/CaJ mouse strain is an appropriate model for the late-onset hearing loss found in humans. However, few studies have characterized hearing in these mice behaviorally using longitudinal methodologies. The goal of this research was to utilize a longitudinal design and operant conditioning procedures with positive reinforcement to construct audiograms and temporal integration functions in aging CBA/CaJ mice. In the first experiment, thresholds were collected for 8, 16, 24, 42, and 64 kHz pure tones in 30 male and 35 female CBA/CaJ mice. Similar to humans, mice had higher thresholds for high frequency tones than for low frequency pure tones across the lifespan. Female mice had better hearing acuity than males after 645 days of age. In the second experiment, temporal integration functions were constructed for 18 male and 18 female mice for 16 and 64 kHz tones varying in duration. Mice showed an increase in thresholds for tones shorter than 200 ms, reaching peak performance at shorter durations than other rodent species. Overall, CBA/CaJ mice experience ARHL for pure tones of different frequencies and durations, making them a good model for studies on hearing loss. These findings highlight the importance of using a wide range of stimuli and a longitudinal design when comparing presbycusis across different species.
Project description:The mouse is increasingly important as a subject of vestibular research. Although many studies have focused on the vestibular responses of mice to angular rotation, the geometry of their semicircular canals has not been described. High-voltage X-ray computed tomography was used to measure the anatomy of the semicircular canals of two strains of mice, C57Bl/6J and CBA/CaJ. The horizontal plane of a stereotaxic coordinate system was defined by the midpoints of the external auditory meati and the point where the incisors emerge from the maxilla. The centroids of the lumens of the bony canals were calculated, and planes that describe the canals were fit using a least-squares regression analysis to the resulting points. Vectors normal to each regressed plane were used to represent the corresponding canal's axis of rotation, and angles of these vectors relative to skull landmarks as well as to each other were calculated. The horizontal canal of the mouse was found to be angled anteriorly upward 17.8 degrees for CBA/CaJ and 32.6 degrees for C57Bl/6J from the reference horizontal plane. Angles between ipsilateral canals deviated up to 12.3 degrees from orthogonal, and angles between contralateral synergistic canals (left anterior-right posterior, right anterior-left posterior, and horizontal-horizontal) deviated from parallel by up to 14.8 degrees. The orientations of the canals within the head as well as the orientations of the canals relative to each other were significantly different between the two strains, suggesting that care must be taken in the design and interpretation of developmental and physiologic studies involving different mouse strains.
Project description:Age-related hearing loss is a very common sensory disability, affecting one in three older adults. Establishing a link between anatomical, physiological, and behavioral markers of presbycusis in a mouse model can improve the understanding of this disorder in humans. We measured age-related hearing loss for a variety of acoustic signals in quiet and noisy environments using an operant conditioning procedure and investigated the status of peripheral structures in CBA/CaJ mice. Mice showed the greatest degree of hearing loss in the last third of their lifespan, with higher thresholds in noisy than in quiet conditions. Changes in auditory brainstem response thresholds and waveform morphology preceded behavioral hearing loss onset. Loss of hair cells, auditory nerve fibers, and signs of stria vascularis degeneration were observed in old mice. The present work underscores the difficulty in ascribing the primary cause of age-related hearing loss to any particular type of cellular degeneration. Revealing these complex structure-function relationships is critical for establishing successful intervention strategies to restore hearing or prevent presbycusis.
Project description:To identify which miRNAs are involved in the onset and progression of age-related hearing loss in the mammalian cochlea We used miRNA microarrays to screen the miRNAs which exhibit the drastic changes in their expressing level during the aging of the cochlea The organ of Corti (OC), the major pathological sites of presbycusis in cochlea, was collected separately at 3 timepoints during the life span. Two strains were selected: C57bl/6j (as accelerated prebycusis model) and CBA/J (as naturally occured presbycusis model). The selected timepoints were: Postnatal 21 days (P21), 3 month (3m) and 9 month (9m) for C57 mice, and P21, 9m, 16m for CBA mice.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of short non-coding RNAs that regulate the expression of mRNA targets, are important regulators of cellular senescence and aging. We questioned which miRNAs are involved in age-related degeneration of the organ of Corti (OC), the auditory sensory epithelium that transduces mechanical stimuli to electrical activity in the inner ear. Degeneration of the OC is generally accepted as the main cause of age-related hearing loss (ARHL), a progressive loss of hearing in individuals as they grow older. To determine which miRNAs are involved in the onset and progression of ARHL, miRNA gene expression in the OC of two mouse strains, C57BL/6J and CBA/J, was compared at three different ages using GeneChip miRNA microarray and was validated by real-time PCR. We showed that 111 and 71 miRNAs exhibited differential expression in the C57 and CBA mice, respectively, and that downregulated miRNAs substantially outnumbered upregulated miRNAs during aging. miRNAs that had approximately 2-fold upregulation included members of miR-29 family and miR-34 family, which are known regulators of pro-apoptotic pathways. In contrast, miRNAs that were downregulated by about 2-fold were members of the miR-181 family and miR-183 family, which are known to be important for proliferation and differentiation, respectively. The shift of miRNA expression favoring apoptosis occurred earlier than detectable hearing threshold elevation and hair cell loss. Our study suggests that changes in miRNA expression precede morphological and functional changes, and that upregulation of pro-apoptotic miRNAs and downregulation of miRNAs promoting proliferation and differentiation are both involved in age-related degeneration of the OC.
Project description:MYH14 is a member of the myosin family, which has been implicated in many motile processes such as ion-channel gating, organelle translocation, and the cytoskeleton rearrangement. Mutations in MYH14 lead to a DFNA4-type hearing impairment. Further evidence also shows that MYH14 is a candidate noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) susceptible gene. However, the specific roles of MYH14 in auditory function and NIHL are not fully understood. In the present study, we used CRISPR/Cas9 technology to establish a Myh14 knockout mice line in CBA/CaJ background (now referred to as Myh14-/- mice) and clarify the role of MYH14 in the cochlea and NIHL. We found that Myh14-/- mice did not exhibit significant hearing loss until five months of age. In addition, Myh14-/- mice were more vulnerable to high intensity noise compared to control mice. More significant outer hair cell loss was observed in Myh14-/- mice than in wild type controls after acoustic trauma. Our findings suggest that Myh14 may play a beneficial role in the protection of the cochlea after acoustic overstimulation in CBA/CaJ mice.