Evidence for a partial epithelial–mesenchymal transition in postnatal stages of rat auditory organ morphogenesis
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The epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a crucial role in the differentiation of many tissues and organs. So far, an EMT was not detected in the development of the auditory organ. To determine whether an EMT may play a role in the morphogenesis of the auditory organ, we studied the spatial localization of several EMT markers, the cell–cell adhesion molecules and intermediate filament cytoskeletal proteins, in epithelium of the dorsal cochlea during development of the rat Corti organ from E18 (18th embryonic day) until P25 (25th postnatal day). We examined by confocal microscopy immunolabelings on cryosections of whole cochleae with antibodies anti-cytokeratins as well as with antibodies anti-vimentin, anti-E-cadherin and anti-β-catenin. Our results showed a partial loss of E-cadherin and β-catenin and a temporary appearance of vimentin in pillar cells and Deiters between P8 and P10. These observations suggest that a partial EMT might be involved in the remodelling of the Corti organ during the postnatal stages of development in rat.
KeywordsEMT Cytoskeleton Organ of Corti Development
The authors thank Mrs. Patricia Piscicelli for her skilful technical assistance. They would like also to thank Sandra Ormenese (GIGA-Imaging and Flow Cytometry, University of Liège) and Dr Pierre Leprince (Western blots, University of Liège) for their technical supports. This work was supported by the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique and the Recherche dans l’Industrie et dans l’Agriculture.
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