Effects of systemic versus local gentamicin on the inner ear in the Atlantic cod,Gadus morhua(L.), relevance for fish hearing investigations

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Abstract

Fish models are increasingly being used for hearing research investigations. Aminoglycoside antibiotics that are used for damaging the inner ear hair cells can have systemic side effects leading to death of study animals. This study aimed to compare two methods: (i) systemic (intravenous) and (ii) local (intrasaccular) gentamicin administration for induction of inner ear hair cell damage in the Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua (L.). Hair cell damage was assessed using scanning electron microscopy; hair cell density, prevalence of immature hair cells and kinocilia length were measured. Gentamicin-treated fish were compared with control and sham fish. Intravenous gentamicin led to dose-dependent mortality caused by nephrotoxicity. The only visible effect after treatment was more immature hair cells and shorter kinocilia, the effect on hair cell density was equivocal. Following intrasaccular gentamicin treatment, fish mortality was negligible, and hair cells were damaged regardless of dose. Here, we observed decreased hair cell density, high prevalence of immature hair cells, and significantly shortened kinocilia. Conclusion: intrasaccular injection is preferable to intravenous injection of gentamicin for the study of ototoxicity in the Atlantic cod.

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