Ornithine decarboxylase activity during development of the mouse inner ear in vivo and in vitro

Sherry A. Crann, Thomas R. Van de Water, Jochen Schacht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Ornithine decarboxylase activity was determined during the development of the peripheral auditory system in the murine otocyst with the goal of understanding the role of this enzyme in the morphological and functional maturation of the inner ear. At gestational days 11 and 12 enzyme activity was more than 10-fold higher than adult levels. A sharp decline occured between day 12 and 13 after which activity rose to a peak around day 15. Activity then dropped continuously until near-adult levels were reached at birth. A lower specific activity of ODC but a similar time-course was seen in otocysts explanted at gestational day 13 and subsequently cultured for 6 days. For two stages of development, enzyme activity and binding of 3H-α-difluoromethylornithine were compared. The four-fold difference in enzymatic activity on gestational days 15 and 17 was paralleled by a similar difference in binding. Ornithine decarboxylase activity during inner ear development therefore seems primarily regulated at the level of protein synthesis. Ornithine decarboxylase activity correlates with major inductive events in the morphogenesis of the cartilagenous otic capsule that serves as a template for the formation of the bony labyrinth. The pattern of activity may reflect the changes in the head mesenchyme that is recruited by the otocyst to aggregate and form its protective otic capsule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-550
Number of pages4
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Development, ontogenic
  • Ear, inner
  • Mesenchyme
  • Morphogenesis
  • Mouse (CBAxC57)
  • Ornithine decarboxylase
  • Otocysts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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