Conductive hearing loss results in changes in cytochrome oxidase activity in gerbil central auditory system.
Conductive hearing loss (CHL) restricts auditory input to an intact peripheral auditory system. Effects of deprivation on the central auditory system (CAS) have been debated, although a number of studies support the hypothesis that CHL can cause modification of CAS structure and function. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that unilateral CHL results in a decrease in cytochrome oxidase (CO) activity in CAS nuclei that receive major afferent input from the affected ear. Gerbils at postnatal day 12 (P21) or 6-8 weeks underwent left unilateral CHL (malleus removal), cochlear ablation, or a sham surgical procedure. After a survival time of 48 hours or 3 weeks, animals were sacrificed and tissue was processed for cytochrome oxidase histochemistry. Optical density (OD) measurements were made from individual neurons in the anteroventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN) and from medial and lateral dendritic fields in the medial superior olivary nucleus (MSO), the lateral superior olivary nucleus, and the inferior colliculus. The width of the CO-stained neuropil in MSO was also measured as an estimate of dendritic length. OD measures were corrected to neutral areas of the brain. Cochlear ablation caused significant decreases in CO activity in left lower brainstem nuclei, particularly in adult animals. Following CHL, a significant decrease in CO activity was observed in the ipsilateral AVCN and a significant increase was observed in the contralateral AVCN. Cochlear ablation resulted in decreased width of MSO neuropil containing dendrites that receive primary input from the ablated ear. CHL resulted in a significant increase in the width of MSO neuropil on both sides of the brain in the P21 animals that survived 3 weeks but not in P21 animals that survived only 48 hours or in the adult animals. Unilateral CHL is associated with changes in CO activity in the AVCN and may affect MSO dendritic length in younger animals.
Tucci, D; Cant, NB; Durham, D
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)