In vivo genetic ablation of the periotic mesoderm affects cell proliferation survival and differentiation in the cochlea

Huansheng Xu, Li Chen, Antonio Baldini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Tbx1 is required for ear development in humans and mice. Gene manipulation in the mouse has discovered multiple consequences of loss of function on early development of the inner ear, some of which are attributable to a cell autonomous role in maintaining cell proliferation of epithelial progenitors of the cochlear and vestibular apparata. However, ablation of the mesodermal domain of the gene also results in severe but more restricted abnormalities. Here we show that Tbx1 has a dynamic expression during late development of the ear, in particular, is expressed in the sensory epithelium of the vestibular organs but not of the cochlea. Vice versa, it is expressed in the condensed mesenchyme that surrounds the cochlea but not in the one that surrounds the vestibule. Loss of Tbx1 in the mesoderm disrupts this peri-cochlear capsule by strongly reducing the proliferation of mesenchymal cells. The organogenesis of the cochlea, which normally occurs inside the capsule, was dramatically affected in terms of growth of the organ, as well as proliferation, differentiation and survival of its epithelial cells. This model provides a striking demonstration of the essential role played by the periotic mesenchyme in the organogenesis of the cochlea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-340
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2007



  • Conditional metation
  • Inner ear development
  • Mouse genetics
  • Periotic mesoderm
  • Tbx1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology

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