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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Female MRL.MpJ-Fas(lpr) autoimmune mice have greater hearing loss than males.

Although women make up approximately 60-70% of the patients with autoimmune hearing loss, little is known about the impact of gender on this cochlear disease. To explore this relationship of gender and autoimmune inner ear disease, an evaluation was made of cochlear function in male and female autoimmune MRL.MpJ-Fas(lpr) mice. Autoimmune disease and hearing loss onset occur at 3-4 months of age, so mice were tested with auditory brainstem response audiometry at 3, 6, and 9 months of age to identify potential gender differences in thresholds. Sera also were analyzed for differences in the autoimmune factors of immune complexes, anti-nuclear antibodies, and hematocrits. By 9 months of age the surviving mice showed a dramatic gender difference. Female mice had thresholds 25-45 dB higher than males at 4, 8, and 16 kHz, although male thresholds at 32 kHz had risen sufficiently to be statistically similar to those for females. No gender differences were seen in any of the systemic autoimmune factors. These findings of worse hearing in female autoimmune mice parallel a reported female preponderance in clinical immune hearing disorders. This potential gender influence in autoimmune inner ear disease must be better understood for effective evaluation and treatment of this disorder.[1]


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