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Background and Objectives:The pathogenesis of cholesteatoma behind an intact tympanic membrane remains controversial. Squamous metaplasia of the midle ear mucosa is thought to be a possible mechanism in such cases. However, to date, no definitive experimental results have proved the asociation. This study was undertaken to investigate whether normal human midle ear epithelial (NHME ) cells undergo keratinizing squamous differentiation in retinoic acid (RA)-deficient culture. Materials and Method:determined the expresions of the mucin gene and cornifin-α mRNAs as indicators of mucous and squamous differentiation, respectively. Results:Histomorphologicaly, the NHMEE cells diferentiated into a keratinizing squamous epithelium in RA-deficient culture. In addition, the expressions of mucin gene 5AC (MUC5AC) and MUC8 mRNA were suppressed, and the expression of cornifin-α mRNA increased progresively as a function of differentiation in RA-deficient culture. Conclusion:Our study shows that RA depletion induces keratinizing squamous diferentiation in NHMEE cell culture. (Korean J Otolaryngol 2003 ;46 :464-8)


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