Use of the pinna reflex as a test of hearing in mutant mice

Mary Ann Cheatham, Malini Pearce, Claus Peter Richter, Ko Onodera, Jordan A. Shavit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Although it is a gross measure, the pinna reflex test is easily administered and is, therefore, incorporated as a general screening tool in mutagenesis programs. Our recent application of this approach indicated that mutant mice lacking one of the small Maf proteins, in this case MafG, failed to exhibit a pinna reflex. In contrast, litter-mate controls, with the same mixed 129/CD1 background, and including both wild type and heterozygous mutant animals, passed the test. Because previous studies indicate thatmafGis expressed in both cochlear and vestibular parts of the mouse inner ear, the source of this 'presumed deafness' was further assessed by making round window recordings to determine compound action potential thresholds. Auditory brainstem responses were also acquired to assess function along portions of the central auditory pathway. In all cases, responses in homozygous mutants (-/-) were comparable to those obtained from littermate controls, either wild type (+/+) or heterozygous mutants (+/-). Gross anatomy of the organ of Corti was also found to be similar in all three groups of mice. Hence, the lack of a pinna reflex must relate to nonauditory causes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalAudiology and Neuro-Otology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Cochlea
  • Gene targeting
  • Mutant mice
  • Pinna reflex


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