Publication Year



Ear, genes, xenopus laevis, deafness


Biology | Cell and Developmental Biology | Medicine and Health Sciences


Most congenital deafness is a result of abnormal development. Successful vertebrate inner ear development yields a highly organized and differentiated structure with several specific functions. All structures of the inner ear are derived from the otic vesicle. The pattern of gene expression in otic placode and vesicle might be correlated with their morphological changes and later regional specification of tissue. Xwnt-3A has been reported as expressed along the dorsal surface of the otic vesicle during the tadpole stage of development. Xwnt-4 has been reported as expressed in the ventral portion of the otic vesicle. In this investigation whole mount in situ hybridization was used to identify the temporal pattern of expression of Wnt-3A and Wnt-4 in the developing inner ear of Xenopus laevis. Wnt-3A is present in the dorsal portion of the otic vesicle as early as stage 26 and was maintained as late as stage 39. However, in situ hybridizations were not performed on stages later that 39. Embryos at stage 22 had with no Xwnt-4 expressed appeared at stage 26 and was present until stage 39. The intensity of the color and extent of signal within the dorsal-ventral axis of the otic vesicle is consistent throughout these stages for both Xwnt-3A and Xwnt-4. The function of these genes could involve cellular specification or differentiation, but before such investigations can begin the expression patterns of these genes should be further defined.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status