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Hear Res. 1999 Oct;136(1-2):124-30.

Cochlear gene transfer: round window versus cochleostomy inoculation.

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  • 1Kresge Hearing Research Institute, Department of Otolaryngology, The University of Michigan Medical School, MSRB 3, Rm. 9303, 1150 W. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0648, USA.


Two possible approaches for cochlear gene transfer have been inoculation via the round window membrane and through a cochleostomy. The aim of this study was to determine which of the two is more effective. Using both approaches, normal-hearing and deafened guinea pigs were inoculated with adenovirus carrying the reporter gene lacZ. After 5 days, the animals were killed and the cochlear tissue was stained with X-gal. The distribution and intensity of staining was estimated by a score system developed to compare gene transfer results between animals. We found that gene transfer via the cochleostomy resulted in a better distribution throughout the cochlea and in higher staining intensity, due to more efficient transfection. Auditory brainstem response (ABR) results showed that neither virus inoculation through a cochleostomy nor through the round window membrane had a significant effect on the click-ABR threshold measured on day 5 following virus injection. Gene transfer via both approaches was also found to be more effective in deafened animals than in hearing animals.

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