Transforming growth factor β1 is an epithelial-derived signal peptide that influences otic capsule formation

Dorothy A. Frenz, Vera Galinovic-Schwartz, Wei Liu, Kathleen C. Flanders, Thomas R. Van de Water

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Interactions between epithelial and mesenchymal tissues in the developing inner ear direct the formation of its cartilaginous capsule. Recent work indicates that many growth factors are distributed in the early embryo in vivo in a temporal-spatial pattern that correlates with sites of ongoing morphogenetic events. We report here the localization of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) in both epithelial and mesenchymal tissues of the mouse inner ear between 10 and 16 days of embryonic development (E10-E16). In addition, utilizing a high-density culture system as an in vitro model of otic capsule chondrogenesis, we show that modulation of chondrogenesis by TGF-β1 in cultured mouse periotic mesenchyme mimics the in vitro effects of otic epithelium on the expression of chondrogenic potential. We provide evidence of a causal relationship of this growth factor to otic capsule formation in situ by demonstrating that the actual sequence of chondrogenic events that occur in the developing embryo is reproduced in culture by the addition of exogenous TGF-β1 peptide. Furthermore, in cultures of mesenchyme containing otic epithelium, we demonstrate the localization of endogenous TGF-β1, first within the epithelial tissue and later within both the epithelium and its surrounding periotic mesenchyme, contrasted to an absence of endogenous TGF-β1 in cultures of mesenchyme alone. Our results suggest that TGF-β1 is one of the signal molecules that mediate the effects of otic epithelium in influencing the formation of the cartilaginous otic capsule

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-336
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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