With significant development of mouse genomics and the availability of transgenic and knockout mice, the mouse will be the preferred animal model for inner ear research. However, few studies have used mice as experimental animals for examination of hair cell degeneration, because of their relative resistance to ototoxic agents and difficulties in surgical treatment. This study presents a model for induction of apoptotic cell death in sensory epithelia of the mouse inner ear using injection of neomycin into the posterior semicircular canal. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay revealed that local application of neomycin produced sufficient induction of apoptotic cell death in both auditory and vestibular epithelia over a definite time course. Supplementation of the general caspase-inhibitor significantly reduced induction of TUNEL-positive cells, indicating caspase-dependency of apoptotic cell death observed in the present model. In addition, the approach to the posterior semicircular canal was an easy technique, and sham-operation induced no significant induction of TUNEL-positive cells. This model, hence, enables the use of various genetic tools in studies for mechanisms of hair cell apoptosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems