3D MRI of the membranous labyrinth. An age related comparison of MR findings in patients with labyrinthine fibrosis and in persons without inner ear symptoms. (1/1700)

PURPOSE: We compared MRI of the membranous labyrinth in patients with chronic non-neoplastic inner ear disease and MR signs of labyrinthine fibrosis and controls depending on their age, in order to establish whether there were any MR differences regarding patient age groups, control age groups and between the patients and controls themselves. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Clinical ENT examinations as well as a T2* weighted 3D CISS (Constructive Interference in Steady State) sequence with a slice thickness of 0.7 mm were performed. Our collective was subdivided as follows: 0-19 years (10 controls, 3 patients with chronic non-neoplastic inner ear disease), 20-49 years (55 controls, 8 patients), 50 years and older (40 controls, 22 patients). Detectability of labyrinthine structures (e.g. cochlea, vestibule, semicircular canals) and filling defects were evaluated. RESULTS: In the 3 age-groups of the control collective no significant differences were observed in the membranous labyrinth. However differences concerning labyrinthine detectability emerged between controls and patients in both the 20-49 years and 50 years and older age groups. In the patient collective the 3 age groups showed no significant discrepancy in the mean number of lesions. CONCLUSION: Filling defects of the membranous labyrinth on 3D CISS MR images are pathological even in older persons. We would therefore recommend high resolution T2* weighted MRI in the case of suspected labyrinthine fibrosis.  (+info)

Inner ear and kidney anomalies caused by IAP insertion in an intron of the Eya1 gene in a mouse model of BOR syndrome. (2/1700)

A spontaneous mutation causing deafness and circling behavior was discovered in a C3H/HeJ colony of mice at the Jackson Laboratory. Pathological analysis of mutant mice revealed gross morphological abnormalities of the inner ear, and also dysmorphic or missing kidneys. The deafness and abnormal behavior were shown to be inherited as an autosomal recessive trait and mapped to mouse chromosome 1 near the position of the Eya1 gene. The human homolog of this gene, EYA1, has been shown to underly branchio-oto-renal (BOR) syndrome, an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by hearing loss with associated branchial and renal anomalies. Molecular analysis of the Eya1 gene in mutant mice revealed the insertion of an intracisternal A particle (IAP) element in intron 7. The presence of the IAP insertion was associated with reduced expression of the normal Eya1 message and formation of additional aberrant transcripts. The hypomorphic nature of the mutation may explain its recessive inheritance, if protein levels in homozygotes, but not heterozygotes, are below a critical threshold needed for normal developmental function. The new mouse mutation is designated Eya1(bor) to denote its similarity to human BOR syndrome, and will provide a valuable model for studying mutant gene expression and etiology.  (+info)

Synapses involving auditory nerve fibers in primate cochlea. (3/1700)

The anatomical mechanisms for processing auditory signals are extremely complex and incompletely understood, despite major advances already made with the use of electron microscopy. A major enigma, for example, is the presence in the mammalian cochlea of a double hair cell receptor system. A renewed attempt to discover evidence of synaptic coupling between the two systems in the primate cochlea, postulated from physiological studies, has failed. However, in the outer spiral bundle the narrow and rigid clefts seen between pairs of presumptive afferent fibers suggest the possibility of dendro-dendritic interaction confined to the outer hair cell system. The clustering of afferent processes within folds of supporting cells subjacent to outer hair cells is in contrast to the lack of such close associations in the inner hair cell region. The difference reinforces the suggestion of functional interaction of some sort between the outer hair cell afferent nerve processes.  (+info)

Development of acetylcholine-induced responses in neonatal gerbil outer hair cells. (4/1700)

Cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs) are dominantly innervated by efferents, with acetylcholine (ACh) being their principal neurotransmitter. ACh activation of the cholinergic receptors on isolated OHCs induces calcium influx through the ionotropic receptors, followed by a large outward K+ current through nearby Ca2+-activated K+ channels. The outward K+ current hyperpolarizes the cell, resulting in the fast inhibitory effects of efferent action. Although the ACh receptors (AChRs) in adult OHCs have been identified and the ACh-induced current responses have been characterized, it is unclear when the ACh-induced current responses occur during development. In this study we attempt to address this question by determining the time of onset of the ACh-induced currents in neonatal gerbil OHCs, using whole cell patch-clamp techniques. Developing gerbils ranging in age from 4 to 12 days were used in these experiments, because efferent synaptogenesis and functional maturation of OHCs occur after birth. Results show that the first detectable ACh-induced current occurred at 6 days after birth (DAB) in 12% of the basal turn cells with a small outward current. The fraction of responsive cells and the size of outward currents increased as development progressed. By 11 DAB, the fraction of responsive cells and the current size were comparable with those of adult OHCs. The results indicate that the maturation of the ACh-induced response begins around 6 DAB. It appears that the development of ACh-induced responses occur during the same time period when OHCs develop motility but before the onset of auditory function, which is around 12 DAB when cochlear microphonic potentials can first be evoked with acoustic stimulation in gerbils.  (+info)

Comparing in vitro, in situ, and in vivo experimental data in a three-dimensional model of mammalian cochlear mechanics. (5/1700)

Normal mammalian hearing is refined by amplification of the motion of the cochlear partition. This partition, comprising the organ of Corti sandwiched between the basilar and tectorial membranes, contains the outer hair cells that are thought to drive this amplification process. Force generation by outer hair cells has been studied extensively in vitro and in situ, but, to understand cochlear amplification fully, it is necessary to characterize the role played by each of the components of the cochlear partition in vivo. Observations of cochlear partition motion in vivo are severely restricted by its inaccessibility and sensitivity to surgical trauma, so, for the present study, a computer model has been used to simulate the operation of the cochlea under different experimental conditions. In this model, which uniquely retains much of the three-dimensional complexity of the real cochlea, the motions of the basilar and tectorial membranes are fundamentally different during in situ- and in vivo-like conditions. Furthermore, enhanced outer hair cell force generation in vitro leads paradoxically to a decrease in the gain of the cochlear amplifier during sound stimulation to the model in vivo. These results suggest that it is not possible to extrapolate directly from experimental observations made in vitro and in situ to the normal operation of the intact organ in vivo.  (+info)

Gene disruption of p27(Kip1) allows cell proliferation in the postnatal and adult organ of corti. (6/1700)

Hearing loss is most often the result of hair-cell degeneration due to genetic abnormalities or ototoxic and traumatic insults. In the postembryonic and adult mammalian auditory sensory epithelium, the organ of Corti, no hair-cell regeneration has ever been observed. However, nonmammalian hair-cell epithelia are capable of regenerating sensory hair cells as a consequence of nonsensory supporting-cell proliferation. The supporting cells of the organ of Corti are highly specialized, terminally differentiated cell types that apparently are incapable of proliferation. At the molecular level terminally differentiated cells have been shown to express high levels of cell-cycle inhibitors, in particular, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors [Parker, S. B., et al. (1995) Science 267, 1024-1027], which are thought to be responsible for preventing these cells from reentering the cell cycle. Here we report that the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27(Kip1) is selectively expressed in the supporting-cell population of the organ of Corti. Effects of p27(Kip1)-gene disruption include ongoing cell proliferation in postnatal and adult mouse organ of Corti at time points well after mitosis normally has ceased during embryonic development. This suggests that release from p27(Kip1)-induced cell-cycle arrest is sufficient to allow supporting-cell proliferation to occur. This finding may provide an important pathway for inducing hair-cell regeneration in the mammalian hearing organ.  (+info)

A changing pattern of brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression correlates with the rearrangement of fibers during cochlear development of rats and mice. (7/1700)

The reorganization of specific neuronal connections is a typical feature of the developing nervous system. It is assumed that the refinement of connections in sensory systems requires spontaneous activity before the onset of cochlear function and selective sensory experience during the ensuing period. The mechanism of refinement through sensory experience is currently postulated as being based on the selective reinforcement of active projections by neurotrophins. We studied a presumed role of neurotrophins for rearrangement of afferent and efferent fibers before the onset of sensory function in the precisely innervated auditory end organ, the cochlea. We observed a spatiotemporal change in the localization of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein and mRNA, which correlated with the reorganization of fibers. Thus, BDNF decreased in target hair cells during fiber retraction and was subsequently upregulated in neurons, target hair cells, and adjacent supporting cells concomitant with the formation of new synaptic contacts. Analysis of the innervation pattern in BDNF gene-deleted mice by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy revealed a failure in the rearrangement of fibers and a BDNF dependency of distinct neuronal projections that reorganize in control animals. Our data suggest that, before the onset of auditory function, a spatiotemporal change in BDNF expression in sensory, epithelial, and neuronal cells may guide the initial steps of refinement of the innervation pattern.  (+info)

Dose dependent protection by lipoic acid against cisplatin-induced ototoxicity in rats: antioxidant defense system. (8/1700)

This study investigated the alterations that occur in auditory brainstem-evoked responses (ABRs) concurrent with changes in cochlear concentrations of glutathione (GSH), lipid peroxidation, and antioxidant enzyme activity in cisplatin-induced ototoxicity and in dose-dependent otoprotection by an antioxidant lipoate. Male Wistar rats were divided into different groups and were treated as follows, with: (1) vehicle (saline) control; (2) cisplatin (16 mg/kg, i.p.); (3) lipoate (100 mg/kg, i.p.) plus saline; (4) cisplatin plus lipoate (25 mg/kg); (5) cisplatin plus lipoate (50 mg/kg), and (6) cisplatin plus lipoate (100 mg/kg). Post-treatment ABRs were evaluated after three days, the rats were sacrificed, and cochleae were harvested and analyzed. The cisplatin-injected rats showed ABR threshold elevations above the pre-treatment thresholds. Rats treated with lipoate plus cisplatin did not show significant elevation of hearing thresholds. Cisplatin administration resulted in a depletion of cochlear GSH concentration (69% of control), whereas, cisplatin-plus-lipoate treatment increased GSH concentration close to control value. Cisplatin-treated rats showed a decrease in cochlear superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and glutathione reductase (GR) activities (57, 78, 59, and 58% of control, respectively), and an increase in malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration (196% of control). Cochlear SOD, CAT, GSH-Px, and GR activities and MDA concentrations were restored in the rats injected with cisplatin plus graded doses of lipoate than those with cisplatin alone. It is concluded that cisplatin-induced ototoxicity is related to impairment of the cochlear antioxidant defense system, and the dose-dependent otoprotection conferred by an antioxidant lipoate against cisplatin ototoxicity is associated with sparing of the cochlear antioxidant defense system.  (+info)