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

Sound damage and gentamicin treatment produce different patterns of damage to the efferent innervation of the chick cochlea.

Both sound exposure and gentamicin treatment cause damage to sensory hair cells in the peripheral chick auditory organ, the basilar papilla. This induces a regeneration response which replaces hair cells and restores auditory function. Since functional recovery requires the re-establishment of connections between regenerated hair cells and the central nervous system, we have investigated the effects of sound damage and gentamicin treatment on the neuronal elements within the cochlea. Whole-mount preparations of basilar papillae were labeled with phalloidin to label the actin cytoskeleton and antibodies to neurofilaments, choline acetyltransferase, and synapsin to label neurons; and examined by confocal laser scanning microscopy. When chicks are treated with gentamicin or exposed to acoustic overstimulation, the transverse nerve fibers show no changes from normal cochleae assayed in parallel. Efferent nerve terminals, however, disappear from areas depleted of hair cells following acoustic trauma. In contrast, efferent nerve endings are still present in the areas of hair cell loss following gentamicin treatment, although their morphological appearance is greatly altered. These differences in the response of efferent nerve terminals to sound exposure versus gentamicin treatment may account, at least in part, for the discrepancies reported in the time of recovery of auditory function.[1]


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