The adhesion molecule cadherin 11 is essential for acquisition of normal hearing ability through middle ear development in the mouse

Lab Invest. 2018 Nov;98(11):1364-1374. doi: 10.1038/s41374-018-0083-y. Epub 2018 Jul 2.


Cadherin 11 (Cdh11), a member of the cadherin adhesion molecule family, is expressed in various regions of the brain as well as the head and ear. To gain further insights into the roles of Cdh11 in the development of the ear, we performed behavioral tests using Cdh11 knockout (KO) mice. KO mice showed reduced acoustic startle responses and increased thresholds for auditory brainstem responses, indicating moderate hearing loss. The auditory bulla volume and ratio of air-filled to non-air-filled space in the middle ear cavity were reduced in KO mice, potentially causing conductive hearing loss. Furthermore, residual mesenchymal and inflammatory cells were observed in the middle ear cavity of KO mice. Cdh11 was expressed in developing mesenchymal cells just before the start of cavitation, indicating that Cdh11 may be directly involved in middle ear cavitation. Since the auditory bulla is derived from the neural crest, the regulation of neural crest-derived cells by Cdh11 may be responsible for structural development. This mutant mouse may be a promising animal model for elucidating the causes of conductive hearing loss and otitis media.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadherins / physiology*
  • Ear, Middle / growth & development*
  • Female
  • Hearing*
  • Male
  • Mice, Knockout


  • Cadherins
  • osteoblast cadherin