After noise- or drug-induced hair-cell loss, the sensory epithelia of the avian inner ear can regenerate new hair cells. Few molecular markers are available for the supporting-cell precursors of the hair cells that regenerate, and little is known about the signaling mechanisms underlying this regenerative response. Hybridoma methodology was used to obtain a monoclonal antibody (mAb) that stains the apical surface of supporting cells in the sensory epithelia of the inner ear. The mAb recognizes the supporting- cell antigen (SCA), a protein that is also found on the apical surfaces of retinal Muller cells, renal tubule cells, and intestinal brush border cells. Expression screening and molecular cloning reveal that the SCA is a novel receptor-like protein tyrosine phosphatase (RPTP), sharing similarity with human density-enhanced phosphatase, an RPTP thought to have a role in the density-dependent arrest of cell growth. In response to hair-cell damage induced by noise in vivo or hair-cell loss caused by ototoxic drug treatment in vitro, some supporting cells show a dramatic decrease in SCA expression levels on their apical surface. This decrease occurs before supporting cells are known to first enter S-phase after trauma, indicating that it may be a primary rather than a secondary response to injury. These results indicate that the SCA is a signaling molecule that may influence the potential of nonsensory supporting cells to either proliferate or differentiate into hair cells.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Jun 15 1999|
- Hair cell
- Inner ear
- Receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase
- Supporting cell