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

Effect of topically applied basic fibroblast growth factor on injured cochlear nerve.

OBJECTIVE: Trauma-induced hearing loss after cerebellopontine angle manipulation has been regarded as having a hopeless natural course once it occurs. To challenge such a pessimistic view, we investigated whether pharmacological interventions with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) could ameliorate trauma-induced cochlear nerve degeneration. METHODS: The cerebellopontine angle portion of the cochlear nerve of rats was quantitatively compressed, and bFGF was topically administered for 2 weeks with a bFGF-soaked absorbable sponge and an osmotic minipump. The animals were killed 2 weeks after the compression procedure. The effect of bFGF in ameliorating cochlear neuronal death was evaluated from the residual number of spiral ganglion cells. RESULTS: Cerebellopontine angle cisternal application of bFGF ameliorated cochlear nerve degeneration after the compression. Immunocytochemical studies of FGF receptors indicated that topically administered bFGF was internalized by a receptor- mediated mechanism through FGF receptor-1 and/or FGF receptor-2. CONCLUSION: This report demonstrated that therapeutic application of bFGF was feasible to ameliorate trauma-induced cochlear nerve degeneration. Recent technological advances for deafened ears, such as cochlear implants and auditory brainstem implants, in combination with neurotrophic and/or growth factor therapeutic intervention, would be of great potential benefit for patients with hearing loss.[1]


  1. Effect of topically applied basic fibroblast growth factor on injured cochlear nerve. Sekiya, T., Shimamura, N., Yagihashi, A., Suzuki, S. Neurosurgery (2003) [Pubmed]
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