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Neurobiol Aging. 2011 Sep;32(9):1716-24. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2009.09.009. Epub 2009 Oct 29.

F1 (CBA×C57) mice show superior hearing in old age relative to their parental strains: hybrid vigor or a new animal model for "golden ears"?

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA. Robert Frisina@urmc.rochester.edu

Abstract

Age-related hearing loss - presbycusis - is the most common communication problem and third most prevalent chronic medical disorder of the aged. The CBA and C57BL/6 mouse strains are useful for studying features of presbycusis. The CBA loses its hearing slowly, like most humans. Because the C57 develops a rapid, high frequency hearing loss by middle age, it has an "old" ear but a relatively young brain, a model that helps separate peripheral (cochlear) from central (brain) etiologies. This field of sensory neuroscience lacks a good mouse model for the 5-10% of aged humans with normal cochlear sensitivity, but who have trouble perceiving speech in background noise. We hypothesized that F1 (CBA×C57) hybrids would have better hearing than either parental strain. Measurements of peripheral auditory sensitivity supported this hypothesis, however, a rapid decline in the auditory efferent feedback system, did not. Therefore, F1s might be an optimal model for studying cases where the peripheral hearing is quite good in old age; thereby allowing isolation of central auditory changes due to brain neurodegeneration.

Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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