Estrogen-related receptor gamma and hearing function: evidence of a role in humans and mice

Lisa S. Nolan, Hannes Maier, Irm Hermans-Borgmeyer, Giorgia Girotto, Russell Ecob, Nicola Pirastu, Barbara A. Cadge, Christian Hübner, Paolo Gasparini, David P. Strachan, Adrian Davis, Sally J. Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since estrogen is thought to protect pre-menopausal women from age-related hearing loss, we investigated whether variation in estrogen-signalling genes is linked to hearing status in the 1958 British Birth Cohort. This analysis implicated the estrogen-related receptor gamma (ESRRG) gene in determining adult hearing function and was investigated further in a total of 6134 individuals in 3 independent cohorts: (i) the 1958 British Birth Cohort; (ii) a London ARHL case-control cohort; and (iii) a cohort from isolated populations of Italy and Silk Road countries. Evidence of an association between the minor allele of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2818964 and hearing status was found in females, but not in males in 2 of these cohorts: p = 0.0058 (London ARHL) and p = 0.0065 (Carlantino, Italy). Furthermore, assessment of hearing in Esrrg knock-out mice revealed a mild 25-dB hearing loss at 5 weeks of age. At 12 weeks, average hearing thresholds in female mice(-/-) were 15 dB worse than in males(-/-). Together these data indicate ESRRG plays a role in maintenance of hearing in both humans and mice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Estrogen
  • Gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Ageing
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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