Pattern changes of mucin gene expression with pneumococcal otitis media

Yasuhiro Tsuboi, Youngki Kim, Michael M. Paparella, Nengquin Chen, Patricia A. Schachern, Jizhen Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: mucins, known to be important components of the mucociliary transport system in the middle ear and Eustachian tube, are subject to changes under inflammatory conditions. Which mucin genes are up-regulated or activated during an inflammatory reaction of the middle ear and Eustachian tube, however, is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to characterize mucin gene expression in middle ears and Eustachian tubes with pneumococcal ear infection. Methods: sixteen rats received intrabullar inoculation of Streptococcus pneumoniae type 6A at 2.5×106 colony forming units (CFU). Four animals were sacrificed on days 1, 3, 7, and 14, respectively. The profile of mucin gene expression in the middle ear and Eustachian tube was examined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) at the above time points. Sixteen rats that received intrabullar inoculation of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) served as controls. Results: the Muc2 mucin gene was expressed in middle ear mucosa of the control rats. Following pneumococcal inoculation, Muc1-Muc5 mucin genes were expressed in the middle ear mucosa in a time-dependent manner. In the Eustachian tube, the Muc2, Muc4 and Muc5 mucin genes were expressed in both control and pneumococcal inoculation groups. Conclusion: Muc1, Muc3, Muc4, and Muc5 mucin genes were activated in the middle ear mucosa by pneumococci, which may contribute to hyper-production of mucin in acute pneumococcal otitis media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 19 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank JoAnn Knox for editorial assistance during the preparation of the manuscript. Supported by NIH grant # R01 DC03433 from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the Vikings’ Children Fund, the Multiple District (5M) International Hearing Foundation, and the International Hearing Foundation.


  • Middle ear
  • Mucin genes
  • Otitis media
  • Rats
  • S. pneumoniae


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