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

The effect of nimodipine on cochlear potentials and Na+/K(+)-ATPase activity in normal and hydropic cochleas of the albino guinea pig.

In experimental endolymphatic hydrops (EEH) a decrease in the endocochlear potential (EP) has been reported and is thought to be due to decreased activity of the enzyme Na+/K(+)-ATPase in the stria vascularis. By stimulating Na+/K(+)-ATPase, the EP, and thereby cochlear function as a whole, might be restored. On the other hand, stimulation of stria vascularis Na+/K(+)-ATPase might result in excessive production of endolymph and thus produce or augment hydrops. In this study we have investigated the effect of intraperitoneally applied nimodipine on cochlear potentials and on Na+/K(+)-ATPase activity in the stria vascularis, both in normal cochleas (control) and in cochleas with EEH. Nimodipine is an L-type Ca(2+)-channel blocking agent with Na+/K(+)-ATPase stimulating properties at concentrations as low as 1.5 nM. The compound action potential (CAP), evoked by 2,4 and 8 kHz tone bursts was found to be depressed in the EEH ears with and without nimodipine treatment, and in the nimodipine treated control ears. Statistical analysis (ANOVA) showed that the effects of EEH and nimodipine on the CAP were additive. The negative summating potential (SP), measured extracochlearly at the apex, in response to 4 and 8 kHz tone bursts was significantly enhanced in the EEH ears. Nimodipine treatment did not affect the SP, neither in the control, nor in the EEH ears. Cytochemically, Na+/K(+)-ATPase activity appeared to be decreased in the oedematous stria vascularis of hydropic cochleas. No effect of nimodipine on Na+/K(+)-ATPase activity could be established ultracytochemically, neither in the controls nor in the EEH ears. In the lower turns of some of the nimodipine treated control cochleas a mild hydrops was seen during light-microscopic evaluation. Although it was not possible to prove a stimulatory effect of nimodipine on the enzyme Na+/K(+)-ATPase cytochemically, the finding of mild endolymphatic hydrops in nimodipine treated control ears suggests (a history of) increased endolymph production. This hydrops might be responsible for the depression of the CAP in the nimodipine treated ears.[1]


  1. The effect of nimodipine on cochlear potentials and Na+/K(+)-ATPase activity in normal and hydropic cochleas of the albino guinea pig. van Benthem, P.P., Klis, S.F., Albers, F.W., de Wildt, D.J., Veldman, J.E., Huizing, E.H., Smoorenburg, G.F. Hear. Res. (1994) [Pubmed]
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