Center for Health Policy and Research (CHPR) Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Shriver Center; Department of Psychiatry; Center for Health Policy and Research; Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; Body Patterning; Chick Embryo; Cycloheximide; Ear, Inner; Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental; In Situ Hybridization; Mice; Microspheres; Signal Transduction; T-Box Domain Proteins; Tretinoin; beta-Galactosidase


Cell and Developmental Biology | Developmental Biology


Vertebrate hearing and balance are based in complex asymmetries of inner ear structure. Here, we identify retinoic acid (RA) as an extrinsic signal that acts directly on the ear rudiment to affect its compartmentalization along the anterior-posterior axis. A rostrocaudal wave of RA activity, generated by tissues surrounding the nascent ear, induces distinct responses from anterior and posterior halves of the inner ear rudiment. Prolonged response to RA by posterior otic tissue correlates with Tbx1 transcription and formation of mostly nonsensory inner ear structures. By contrast, anterior otic tissue displays only a brief response to RA and forms neuronal elements and most sensory structures of the inner ear.

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DOI of Published Version



Bok J, Raft S, Kong KA, Koo SK, Dräger UC, Wu DK. Transient retinoic acid signaling confers anterior-posterior polarity to the inner ear. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jan 4;108(1):161-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1010547108. Epub 2010 Dec 20. PubMed PMID: 21173260; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3017143. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed