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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2011

Authors: Smorodchenko, A; Rupprecht, A; Fuchs, J; Gross, J; Pohl, EE

Title: Role of mitochondrial uncoupling protein 4 in rat inner ear.

Source: Mol Cell Neurosci. 2011; 47(4):244-253

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Pohl Elena
Rupprecht Anne
Smorodchenko Alina

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Physiology, Pathohysiology and Biophysics, Unit of Physiology and Biophysics

The uncoupling protein 4 (UCP4) belongs to the mitochondrial anion transporter family. Protein tissue distribution and functions are still a matter of debate. Using an antibody we have previously shown that UCP4 appears in neurons and to a lesser extent in astrocytes of murine neuronal tissue as early as days 12-14 of embryonic development (Smorodchenko et al., 2009). Here we demonstrated for the first time that neurosensory cells such as hair cells of the inner ear and mechanosensitive Merkel cells in skin also express a significant amount of UCP4. We tested the hypothesis about whether UCP4 contributes to the regulation of oxidative stress using the model of oxygen deprivation. For this we compared the protein expression level in freshly isolated explants of organ of Corti, modiolus and stria vascularis from neonatal rats with explants cultured under hypoxia. Western blot analysis revealed that the UCP4 level was not increased under hypoxic conditions, when compared to the mitochondrial outer membrane protein VDAC or to the anti-oxidative enzyme SOD2. We moreover demonstrated that UCP4 expression is differently regulated during postnatal stages and is region-specific. We hypothesized that UCP4 may play an important role in functional maturation of the rat inner ear.

Keywords Pubmed: Animals
Cell Hypoxia
Ear, Inner/cytology
Ear, Inner/physiology*
Hair Cells, Auditory/cytology
Hair Cells, Auditory/metabolism
Hair Cells, Vestibular/cytology
Hair Cells, Vestibular/metabolism
Membrane Transport Proteins/metabolism*
Rats, Wistar
Spiral Ganglion/cytology
Spiral Ganglion/metabolism
Voltage-Dependent Anion Channels/metabolism

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