Genetic background effects on age-related hearing loss associated with Cdh23 variants in mice.
ABSTRACT: 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:<h4>Key points</h4>Age-related hearing loss is a progressive hearing loss involving environmental and genetic factors, leading to a decrease in hearing sensitivity, threshold and speech discrimination. We compared age-related changes in inner hair cells (IHCs) between four mouse strains with different levels of progressive hearing loss. The surface area of apical coil IHCs (9-12 kHz cochlear region) decreases by about 30-40% with age. The number of BK channels progressively decreases with age in the IHCs from most mouse strains, but the basolateral membrane current profile remains unchanged. The mechanoelectrical transducer current is smaller in mice harbouring the hypomorphic Cdh23 allele Cdh23<sup>ahl</sup> (C57BL/6J; C57BL/6NTac), but not in Cdh23-repaired mice (C57BL/6NTac<sup>Cdh23+</sup> ), indicating that it could contribute to the different progression of hearing loss among mouse strains. The degree of efferent rewiring onto aged IHCs, most likely coming from the lateral olivocochlea fibres, was correlated with hearing loss in the different mouse strains.<h4>Abstract</h4>Inner hair cells (IHCs) are the primary sensory receptors of the mammalian cochlea, transducing acoustic information into electrical signals that are relayed to the afferent neurons. Functional changes in IHCs are a potential cause of age-related hearing loss. Here, we have investigated the functional characteristics of IHCs from early-onset hearing loss mice harbouring the allele Cdh23<sup>ahl</sup> (C57BL/6J and C57BL/6NTac), from late-onset hearing loss mice (C3H/HeJ), and from mice corrected for the Cdh23<sup>ahl</sup> mutation (C57BL/6NTac<sup>Cdh23+</sup> ) with an intermediate hearing phenotype. There was no significant loss of IHCs in the 9-12 kHz cochlear region up to at least 15 months of age, but their surface area decreased progressively by 30-40% starting from ∼6 months of age. Although the size of the BK current decreased with age, IHCs retained a normal KCNQ4 current and resting membrane potential. These basolateral membrane changes were most severe for C57BL/6J and C57BL/6NTac, less so for C57BL/6NTac<sup>Cdh23+</sup> and minimal or absent in C3H/HeJ mice. We also found that lateral olivocochlear (LOC) efferent fibres re-form functional axon-somatic connections with aged IHCs, but this was seen only sporadically in C3H/HeJ mice. The efferent post-synaptic SK2 channels appear prior to the establishment of the efferent contacts, suggesting that IHCs may play a direct role in re-establishing the LOC-IHC synapses. Finally, we showed that the size of the mechanoelectrical transducer (MET) current from IHCs decreased significantly with age in mice harbouring the Cdh23<sup>ahl</sup> allele but not in C57BL/6NTac<sup>Cdh23+</sup> mice, indicating that the MET apparatus directly contributes to the progression of age-related hearing loss.
Project description:The DBA/2J strain is a model for early-onset, progressive hearing loss in humans, as confirmed in the present study. DBA/2J mice showed progression of hearing loss to low-frequency sounds from ultrasonic-frequency sounds and profound hearing loss at all frequencies before 7 months of age. It is known that the early-onset hearing loss of DBA/2J mice is caused by affects in the ahl (Cdh23(ahl)) and ahl8 (Fscn2(ahl8)) alleles of the cadherin 23 and fascin 2 genes, respectively. Although the strong contributions of the Fscn2(ahl8) allele were detected in hearing loss at 8- and 16-kHz stimuli with LOD scores of 5.02 at 8 kHz and 8.84 at 16 kHz, hearing loss effects were also demonstrated for three new quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for the intervals of 50.3-54.5, 64.6-119.9, and 119.9-137.0 Mb, respectively, on chromosome 5, with significant LOD scores of 2.80-3.91 for specific high-frequency hearing loss at 16 kHz by quantitative trait loci linkage mapping using a (DBA/2J × C57BL/6J) F1 × DBA/2J backcross mice. Moreover, we showed that the contribution of Fscn2(ahl8) to early-onset hearing loss with 32-kHz stimuli is extremely low and raised the possibility of effects from the Cdh23(ahl) allele and another dominant quantitative trait locus (loci) for hearing loss at this ultrasonic frequency. Therefore, our results suggested that frequency-specific QTLs control early-onset hearing loss in DBA/2J mice.
Project description:Both the ahl allele of Cdh23 and the null mutation of Sod1 have been shown to contribute to age-related hearing loss (AHL) in mice, but mixed strain backgrounds have confounded analyses of their individual and combined effects. To test for the effects of Sod1 deficiency independently from those of Cdh23(ahl), we produced mice with four digenic genotypes: Sod1(+/+)Cdh23(ahl)(/ahl), Sod1(+/+)Cdh23(+/+), Sod1(-/-)Cdh23(ahl)(/ahl), and Sod1(-/-)Cdh23(+/+), all on a uniform C57BL(/)6J strain background. We assessed hearing loss by ABR threshold measurements and evaluated cochlear pathologies in age-matched mice of each digenic combination. ABR analysis showed that Sod1(+/+)Cdh23(+/+) mice retain normal hearing up to 15 months of age and that hearing loss of Sod1(+/+)Cdh23(ahl)(/ahl) mice is more age and frequency dependent than that of Sod1(-/-)Cdh23(+/+) mice. ABR results also showed that mice with both gene mutations (Sod1(-/-)Cdh23(ahl)(/ahl)) exhibit the earliest onset and most severe hearing loss, greater than predicted for strictly additive effects. Histological analysis of cochleas showed that hair cell lesions are most severe in Sod1(-)(/-)Cdh23(ahl)(/ahl) mice followed closely by Sod1(+)(/+)Cdh23(ahl)(/ahl) mice and much smaller in Sod1(-)(/-)Cdh23(+)(/+) and Sod1(+)(/+)Cdh23(+)(/+) mice. Despite extensive damage to cochlear hair cells, vestibular hair cells appeared remarkably normal in all strains. Although both Sod1(-/-) and Cdh23(ahl)(/ahl) genotypes had strong effects on hearing loss, the Cdh23(ahl/ahl) genotype was primarily responsible for the increase in hair cell loss, suggesting that the two mutations have different underlying mechanisms of pathology.
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: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: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:The ahl locus, shown to be a strain-specific Cdh23 dimorphism, contributes to age-related hearing loss in many inbred mouse strains. A/J mice begin to lose hearing by 4 weeks of age, much earlier than C57BL/6J (B6) mice, although both strains have the same Cdh23(ahl) variant. Here, we use recombinant inbred strains, chromosome substitution strains, and a linkage backcross to map a locus on distal Chromosome 10, designated ahl4, that contributes to the early-onset hearing loss of A/J mice. Cochleae of 9-week-old A/J mice exhibit inner and outer hair cell loss from the basal turn through the apical turn, with outer hair cell loss at the base being severest. To quantify the progression of hair cell loss, cytocochleograms were evaluated from 0 to 20 weeks of age. A/J mice showed evidence of hair cell loss in the base of the cochlea as early as 14 days of age and the magnitude and extent of loss increased rapidly during the following 2-5 months. Hair cell loss occurred earlier and was much more severe and widespread in A/J mice than in B6 mice during the first 5 months of age. Spiral ganglion neurons, cells of the stria vascularis, and vestibular hair cell densities, however, appeared normal in 20-week-old A/J mice.
Project description:The DBA/2J inbred strain of mice is used extensively in hearing research, yet little is known about the genetic basis for its early onset, progressive hearing loss. To map underlying genetic factors we analyzed recombinant inbred strains and linkage backcrosses. Analysis of 213 mice from 31 BXD recombinant inbred strains detected linkage of auditory brain-stem response thresholds with a locus on distal chromosome 11, which we designate ahl8. Analysis of 225 N2 mice from a backcross of (C57BL/6JxDBA/2J) F1 hybrids to DBA/2J mice confirmed this linkage (LOD>50) and refined the ahl8 candidate gene interval. Analysis of 214 mice from a backcross of (B6.CAST-Cdh23 Ahl+ xDBA/2J) F1 hybrids to DBA/2J mice demonstrated a genetic interaction of Cdh23 with ahl8. We conclude that ahl8 is a major contributor to the hearing loss of DBA/2J mice and that its effects are dependent on the predisposing Cdh23 ahl genotype of this strain.
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:OBJECTIVE:Dietary intervention is a practical prevention strategy for age-related hearing loss (AHL). Omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may be effective in prevention of AHL due to their anti-inflammatory and tissue-protective functions. Age-related changes in the hearing function of wild-type and Fat-1 transgenic mice derived from the C57BL/6N strain, which can convert omega-6 PUFAs to n-3 PUFAs and consequently produce enriched endogenous n-3 PUFAs, were investigated to test the efficacy of n-3 PUFAs for AHL prevention. RESULTS:At 2 months, the baseline auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds were the same in Fat-1 and wild-type mice at 8-16 kHz but were significantly higher in Fat-1 mice at 4 and 32 kHz. In contrast, the ABR thresholds of Fat-1 mice were significantly lower at 10 months. Moreover, the ABR thresholds of Fat-1 mice at low-middle frequencies were significantly lower at 13 months (12 kHz). Body weights were significantly reduced in Fat-1 mice at 13 months, but not at 2, 10, and 16-17 months. In conclusion, enriched endogenous n-3 PUFAs produced due to the expression of the Fat-1 transgene partially alleviated AHL in male C57BL/6N mice.