Send to

Choose Destination
Acta Otolaryngol. 1999 Jan;119(1):42-7.

Hair cell loss in the aged guinea pig cochlea.

Author information

Department of Physiology, University of Leeds, UK.


The various effects of ageing on the auditory system, collectively termed presbycusis, are being studied across a wide range of animal species, including humans. One contributing factor to presbycusis is thought to be losses of the sensory hair cells in the cochlea. In this study, hair cell counts were obtained from cochleas of pigmented guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) at ages ranging from 11 days to 4 years 7 months, using scanning electron microscopy to visualize the organ of Corti. Representative samples of the basal, middle and apical turn of the cochlea were photographed for analysis. Hair cell loss was observed, even in young animals. However, the loss was greater in the aged animals, but was not distributed evenly throughout the length of the cochlea. No significant loss of hair cells was seen in the basal (high frequency) or middle turn of the cochlea of the aged animals. In the apical (low frequency) turn, there was a significant loss of hair cells in all rows of outer hair cells (up to around 20%), and was most severe in the third row. There was no loss of apical inner hair cells in the aged animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center