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The role of particulate guanylyl cyclase B (GC-B) in auditory function in adult mice


cGMP signaling triggered by the binding of C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) to its receptor guanylyl cyclase B (GC-B; NPR2; NPRB) has been linked by genetic evidence to a remarkable variety of physiological functions like skeletal bone growth, female fertility, cardiac growth, fat metabolism and gastrointestinal function. For the nervous system it has been recently demonstrated that the CNP/GC-B/cGMP/cGMP-dependent protein kinase type I (cGKI) signaling pathway is essential for sensory axon branching at the dorsal root entry zone of the spinal cord and at the rhombomeres of the hindbrain during embryonic development [1]. Also in the auditory system, distinct auditory nerve fiber (ANF) types that differ in their discharge rate and sound sensitivity bifurcate in the cochlear nucleus (CN), sending collaterals to the anteroventral, posteroventral, and dorsal subdivisions. The lack of GC-B has been shown to lead to a central phenotype [2].


Here, we describe that the lack of GC-B in addition leads to a peripheral phenotype which is manifested in auditory threshold loss and altered wave amplitudes and latencies of stimulus-evoked auditory brainstem responses (ABR). Our preliminary results indicate that this deficit is related to a combined afferent and efferent fiber phenotype.


We will further investigate the functional consequences of bifurcation loss of ANF on central hearing function and central plasticity. This may lead to sound localization problems, a progressive aging phenotype [3] and an increased risk for tinnitus [4].


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This work was supported by grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (FOR 2060 project FE 438/5-1).

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Correspondence to Steffen Wolter.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Wolter, S., Möhrle, D., Zelle, D. et al. The role of particulate guanylyl cyclase B (GC-B) in auditory function in adult mice. BMC Pharmacol Toxicol 16 (Suppl 1), A102 (2015).

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