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Light (Blt) a mutation that causes melanocyte death, affects stria vascularis function in the mouse inner ear

Cable, Joanne, Jackson, Ian J. and Steel, Karen P. 1993. Light (Blt) a mutation that causes melanocyte death, affects stria vascularis function in the mouse inner ear. Pigment Cell Research 6 (4) , pp. 215-225. 10.1111/j.1600-0749.1993.tb00605.x

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Abstract

The Light mutation (Blt) is a dominant allele of the b-locus on mouse chromosome 4 which causes progressive dilution of coat colour. Melanocytes within the hair follicles of mutant mice develop normally but later degenerate, due to the accumulation of a toxic product, so that the hair becomes lighter with age. Previous studies on W-locus spotting mutants, from which melanocytes are absent, have shown that melanocytes in the stria vascularis of the inner ear are essential for the development and/or maintenance of the endocochlear potential (EP) which is normally around 100 mV. In this study, physiological recordings from the ears of Light mutants were correlated with strial ultrastructure. EPs recorded from all b/b controls and young homozygous and heterozygous mutants (20–22 days old) were normal (77 to 113 mV), but were reduced (19 to 59 mV) in about 30% of ears from older mutants (Blt/Blt and Blt/b). Strial function therefore appears to develop normally but later degenerates in some mutants. This suggests that strial melanocytes are affected by the Light allele and that the continued presence of melanocytes is necessary for strial function. There was no obvious association between the recorded EP value and the ultrastructural appearance of the stria. No structural abnormalities of the stria were noted in control or mutant mice aged 20 days to 4 months including those which had a reduced EP. Strial atrophy was common in old controls and mutants (1–2 years), and appeared to be an age-related process rather than an effect of the Light mutation. Similarly, pigment build-up was common in all strial cells of old mice. However, the accumulations of lipofuscin-like pigment were much larger and more abundant in aged brown non-agouti mice than those observed in old agouti mice, which suggests that this age-related process also has a genetic component.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Melanocyte; Stria vascularis; Cochlea; Light mutant; Brown locus; Pigmentation; Aging.
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0893-5785
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:38
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/63227

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