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The retinoblastoma protein pRb is required for cell-cycle exit of embryonic mammalian hair cells but not for their early differentiation. However, its role in postnatal hair cells is unknown. To study the function of pRb in mature animals, we created a new conditional mouse model, with the Rb gene deleted primarily in the inner ear. Progeny survive up to 6(More)
Type II auditory nerve fibers, which provide the primary afferent innervation of outer hair cells of the cochlea, project thin fibers centrally and form synapses in the cochlear nucleus. We investigated the postsynaptic targets of these synapses, which are unknown. Using serial-section electron microscopy of fibers labeled with horseradish peroxidase, we(More)
In an effort to improve the auditory brainstem implant, a prosthesis in which user outcomes are modest, we applied electric and infrared neural stimulation (INS) to the cochlear nucleus in a rat animal model. Electric stimulation evoked regions of neural activation in the inferior colliculus and short-latency, multipeaked auditory brainstem responses(More)
Most 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) patients have middle and outer ear anomalies, whereas some have inner ear malformations. Tbx1, a gene hemizygously deleted in 22q11DS patients and required for ear development, is expressed in multiple tissues during embryogenesis. To determine the role of Tbx1 in the first pharyngeal pouch (PPI) in forming outer and(More)
Norrie disease is an X-linked recessive syndrome of blindness, deafness, and mental retardation. A knock-out mouse model with an Ndp gene disruption was studied. We examined the hearing phenotype, including audiological, histological, and vascular evaluations. As is seen in humans, the mice had progressive hearing loss leading to profound deafness. The(More)
The middle ear muscle (MEM) reflexes function to protect the inner ear from intense acoustic stimuli and to reduce acoustic masking. Sound presented to the same side or to the opposite side activates the MEM reflex on both sides. The ascending limbs of these pathways must be the auditory nerve fibers originating in the cochlea and terminating in the(More)
The axons of commissural neurons that project from one cochlear nucleus to the other were studied after labeling with anterograde tracer. Injections were made into the dorsal subdivision of the cochlear nucleus in order to restrict labeling only to the group of commissural neurons that gave off collaterals to, or were located in, this subdivision. The(More)
The medial olivocochlear (MOC) reflex arc is probably a three-neuron pathway consisting of type I spiral ganglion neurons, reflex interneurons in the cochlear nucleus, and MOC neurons that project to the outer hair cells of the cochlea. We investigated the identity of MOC reflex interneurons in the cochlear nucleus by assaying their regional distribution(More)
Optogenetics has become an important research tool and is being considered as the basis for several neural prostheses. However, few studies have applied optogenetics to the auditory brainstem. This study explored whether optical activation of the cochlear nucleus (CN) elicited responses in neurons in higher centers of the auditory pathway and whether it(More)
Contemporary auditory brainstem implant (ABI) performance is limited by reliance on electrical neurostimulation with its accompanying channel cross talk and current spread to non-auditory neurons. A new generation ABI based on optogenetic technology may ameliorate limitations fundamental to electrical stimulation. The most widely studied opsin is(More)