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Journal Article

Vascular Defects and Sensorineural Deafness in a Mouse Model of Norrie Disease


Berger,  Wolfgang
Dept. of Human Molecular Genetics (Head: Hans-Hilger Ropers), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Rehm, H. L., Zhang, D.-S., Brown, M. C., Burgess, B., Halpin, C., Berger, W., et al. (2002). Vascular Defects and Sensorineural Deafness in a Mouse Model of Norrie Disease. Journal of Neuroscience, 22(11), 4286-4292.

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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 primary lesion was localized to the stria vascularis, which houses the main vasculature of the cochlea. Fluorescent dyes showed an abnormal vasculature in this region and eventual loss of two-thirds of the vessels. We propose that one of the principal functions of norrin in the ear is to regulate the interaction of the cochlea with its vasculature.