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J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2011 Apr;12(2):173-83. doi: 10.1007/s10162-010-0247-y. Epub 2010 Nov 5.

Gravity receptor aging in the CBA/CaJ strain: a comparison to auditory aging.

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Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353, USA.


The CBA/CaJ mouse strain is commonly used as a control as it has no known genetic mutations affecting the inner ear, maintains hearing sensitivity throughout life, and serves as a background for creating new genetic strains. The purpose of the present study was to characterize the effects of age and gender on gravity receptor function and compare functional changes between auditory and vestibular modalities. Vestibular-evoked potentials (VsEPs), auditory brainstem responses (ABRs), and distortion product otoacoustic emissions were measured in 131 mice. VsEP thresholds deteriorated an average of 0.39 dB re: 1.0 g/ms per month and at the oldest ages (18-23 months old) showed an average loss of 49% of VsEP dynamic range. No significant gender differences were found for VsEPs. ABR thresholds increased by an average of 1.35, 1.38, and 1.15 dB pe SPL per month for ABR stimulus frequencies of 8, 16, and 32 kHz, respectively, demonstrating an average decrease in auditory dynamic range of 25-35% at advanced ages. Both modalities declined with age. Age-related decreases in gravity receptor sensitivity should be considered when using the CBA/CaJ strain for vestibular studies.

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