Research ArticleHEARING LOSS

Endotoxemia-mediated inflammation potentiates aminoglycoside-induced ototoxicity

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Science Translational Medicine  29 Jul 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 298, pp. 298ra118
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aac5546

Inflammation potentiates antibiotic-induced hearing loss

Aminoglycoside antibiotics are essential for treating life-threatening infections, despite the known risk of permanent hearing loss by damaging cochlear sensory cells in the inner ear. Because severe infections also trigger widespread inflammation, Koo and colleagues tested the effect of inflammation on aminoglycoside-induced hearing loss as a model of clinical dosing with these drugs. Systemic inflammation increased cochlear uptake of aminoglycosides and, surprisingly, cochlear expression of inflammatory markers in mice. Inflammation also greatly exacerbated aminoglycoside-induced hearing loss and cochlear sensory cell death in sick mice compared to healthy mice. These findings may help clinicians to choose the appropriate pharmacotherapy for patients with severe infections to better protect lifelong hearing health, and encourage the development of otoprotective drugs that also demonstrate efficacy against aminoglycoside-induced ototoxicity during infection-induced inflammation.

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