Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Genetics of age-related hearing loss in mice. II. Strain differences and effects of caloric restriction on cochlear pathology and evoked response thresholds.

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Hear Res 1995 Aug;88(1-2):143-55


1, AG06232/AG/NIA, AG10838/AG/NIA, +


The effects of genotype and diet on age-related hearing loss were evaluated using auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds and post-mortem cochlear histopathology in 5 inbred mouse strains, CBA/H-T6J (CH), DBA/2J (D2), C57BL/6J (B6), BALB/cByJ (BY) and WB/ReJ (WB), and their 10 F1 hybrid strains. The mice had been maintained since weaning on either a high-energy (HE) control diet or low-energy (LE) calorically restricted diet. ABR thresholds were obtained when the mice were 23 months old; the mice were allowed to age until they died from natural causes prior to obtaining the histological material. The severity of post-mortem cochlear pathology in mice maintained with the HE diet supports our earlier genetic model which postulated that B6, BY, and WB strains each possessed a different recessive allele causing age-related hearing loss, D2 mice possessed all 3 genes, and CH mice possessed none. The histopathology indicates that the genes act at the cochlear level. Dietary restriction resulted in increased longevity in a number of strains, but age-related changes in cochlear pathology were not ameliorated in any of these; indeed, in some strains long-lived LE mice exhibited severe cochlear degeneration. In strains for which longevity was not extended by caloric restriction, only B6 mice exhibited an ameliorative effect of the LE diet on cochlear pathology. ABRs in 23-month-olds indicated a slowing of age-related hearing loss in LE mice of 3 F1 hybrid strains.

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