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Neurotox Res. 2011 Jul;20(1):51-8. doi: 10.1007/s12640-010-9221-z. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

Mefloquine damage vestibular hair cells in organotypic cultures.

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1
Center for Hearing and Deafness, State University of New York at Buffalo, 137 Cary Hall, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.

Abstract

Mefloquine is an effective and widely used anti-malarial drug; however, some clinical reports suggest that it can cause dizziness, balance, and vestibular disturbances. To determine if mefloquine might be toxic to the vestibular system, we applied mefloquine to organotypic cultures of the macula of the utricle from postnatal day 3 rats. The macula of the utricle was micro-dissected out as a flat surface preparation and cultured with 10, 50, 100, or 200 μM mefloquine for 24 h. Specimens were stained with TRITC-conjugated phalloidin to label the actin in hair cell stereocilia and TO-PRO-3 to visualize cell nuclei. Some utricles were also labeled with fluorogenic caspase-3, -8, or -9 indicators to evaluate the mechanism of programmed cell death. Mefloquine treatment caused a dose-dependent loss of utricular hair cells. Treatment with 10 μM caused a slight reduction, 50 μM caused a significant reduction, and 200 μM destroyed nearly all the hair cells. Hair cell nuclei in mefloquine-treated utricles were condensed and fragmented, morphological features of apoptosis. Mefloquine-treated utricles were positive for the extrinsic initiator caspase-8 and intrinsic initiator caspase-9 and downstream executioner caspase-3. These results indicate that mefloquine can induce significant hair cell degeneration in the postnatal rat utricle and that mefloquine-induced hair cell death is initiated by both caspase-8 and caspase-9.

PMID:
20859773
PMCID:
PMC3085659
DOI:
10.1007/s12640-010-9221-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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