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A hearing and vestibular phenotyping pipeline to identify mouse mutants with hearing impairment

Nature Protocols volume 5, pages 177190 (2010) | Download Citation


We describe a protocol for the production of mice carrying N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mutations and their screening for auditory and vestibular phenotypes. In comparison with the procedures describing individual phenotyping tests, this protocol integrates a set of tests for the comprehensive determination of the causes of hearing loss. It comprises a primary screen of relatively simple auditory and vestibular tests. A variety of secondary phenotyping protocols are also described for further investigating the deaf and vestibular mutants identified in the primary screen. The screen can be applied to potentially thousands of mutant mice, produced either by ENU or other mutagenesis approaches. Primary screening protocols take no longer than a few minutes, apart from ABR testing which takes upto 3.5 h per mouse. These protocols have been applied for the identification of mouse models of human deafness and are a key component for investigating the genes and genetic pathways involved in hereditary deafness.

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This work was supported by the MRC and FP6 Integrated Project EUROHEAR, LSHG-CT-2004-512063. We thank Steve Thomas and Kevin Glover for figure preparation.

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  1. MRC Harwell, Mammalian Genetics Unit, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Harwell, UK.

    • Rachel E Hardisty-Hughes
    • , Andrew Parker
    •  & Steve D M Brown


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R.E.H.-H. and S.D.M.B. designed the pipeline; R.E.H.-H. and A.P. carried out experimental work utilizing the pipeline; and R.E.H.-H., A.P. and S.D.M.B. wrote the paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Steve D M Brown.

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