Abstract

Age-related hearing loss (AHL) is an important health problem in the elderly population. Its molecular mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we analyzed the differential expression of lncRNAs and mRNAs in the cochleae of six-week-old and one-year-old C57BL/6J mice through RNA-seq analysis. We found 738 and 2033 differentially expressed lncRNAs and mRNAs, respectively, in these two groups (corrected P < 0.05). We focused on the intersection of known genes associated with hearing loss and differentially expressed mRNAs in RNA-seq. There are 34 mRNAs in this intersection, which include all 29 mRNAs enriched in the sensory perception of sound (GO: 0007605). We selected 11 lncRNAs that are predicted to regulate the 34 mRNAs to validate their expression levels in animal and cellular models of AHL by qRT-PCR. Among these lncRNAs, four were significantly different in both animal and cellular models of AHL, and the lncRNA NONMMUT010961.2 was the most markedly different. Knocking down lncRNA NONMMUT010961.2, we found the expression of oxidative stress and apoptosis-related gene Ar and hearing loss-related gene Hgf is significantly reduced in HEI-OC1 cells. Our results suggest that lncRNAs NONMMUT010961.2 may be associated with AHL and may thus lead to a new treatment for AHL.