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

The endolymphatic sac and inner ear homeostasis. II: Effect of glycerol on the sensory end organs with or without colchicine pretreatment.

The effects of glycerol and colchicine on the sensory end organs of the inner ear were investigated in mice. Glycerol alone induced a widening of the intercellular spaces lining vestibular dark and transitional cells as well as the marginal cells of the stria vascularis. This was noted within 30 min after the injection of glycerol and was normalized again within 4 h after the injection. Colchicine induced some morphological changes in the inner ear sensory cells, such as dissociation of Golgi complexes etc. These isolated glycerol or colchicine injections did not cause any signs of inner ear functional impairment. Treatment with glycerol following pretreatment with colchicine, however, induced marked inner ear dysfunction with impaired sense of balance and audition. The inner ear morphology revealed a combination of changes as compared with what was observed after isolated treatment with glycerol or colchicine i.e. edema of the stria vascularis, and vestibular dark and transitional cells as well as dissociation of Golgi complexes in the sensory cells. The cochlea showed moderate endolymphatic hydrops. These findings indicate that colchicine affects the inner ear fluid regulating mechanisms which may lead to severe functional derangement after additional glycerol treatment. It is conceivable that the present experiment may serve as a useful model for further studies on inner ear changes related to endolymphatic hydrops and Ménière's disease.[1]


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