Structural Abnormalities in Inner Hair Cells Following Kanamycin-Induced Outer Hair Cell Loss

  • Carole M. Hackney
  • David N. Furness
  • Peter S. Steyger
Part of the Lecture Notes in Biomathematics book series (LNBM, volume 87)


The aminoglycoside antibiotic kanamycin has been widely used in studies of the comparative function of inner (IHC) and outer (OHC) hair cells of the mammalian cochlea. Administration of this drug has been used to produce dose-dependent selective OHC loss in certain regions of the cochlea whilst leaving IHCs apparently intact as judged by Nomarski light microscopy (LM). In guinea pig (Harrison and Evans. 1977), and also in cat (see e.g., Kiang et al. 1986),loss of frequency selectivity and elevated thresholds have been reported in afferent nerve fibres of IHCs from regions of total OHC loss, whilst in chinchilla, elevation of threshold without loss of frequency selectivity has been found (Dallos and Harris, 1978). These results are considered consistent with other data which suggest that whilst the mcs are the primary sensory receptors of the mammalian cochlea, the OHCs are involved in some way in the active mechanical enhancement of the IHC response (see e.g., review by Patuzzi and Robertson, 1988).


Hair Cell Apical Region Outer Hair Cell Afferent Terminal Hair Cell Loss 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carole M. Hackney
    • 1
  • David N. Furness
    • 1
  • Peter S. Steyger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Communication and NeuroscienceUniversity of KeeleKeele, Staffs.UK

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