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Front Aging Neurosci. 2015 Jul 24;7:145. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2015.00145. eCollection 2015.

Dendrogenin A and B two new steroidal alkaloids increasing neural responsiveness in the deafened guinea pig.

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Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden.
Affichem SA Toulouse, France.
INSERM UMR 1037, Cancer Research Center of Toulouse Toulouse, France.



To investigate the therapeutic potential for treating inner ear damage of two new steroidal alkaloid compounds, Dendrogenin A and Dendrogenin B, previously shown to be potent inductors of cell differentiation.


Guinea pigs, unilaterally deafened by neomycin infusion, received a cochlear implant followed by immediate or a 2-week delayed treatment with Dendrogenin A, Dendrogenin B, and, as comparison artificial perilymph and glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor. After a 4-week treatment period the animals were sacrificed and the cochleae processed for morphological analysis. Electrically-evoked auditory brainstem responses (eABRs) were measured weekly throughout the experiment.


Following immediate or delayed Dendrogenin treatment the electrical responsiveness was significantly maintained, in a similar extent as has been shown using neurotrophic factors. Histological analysis showed that the spiral ganglion neurons density was only slightly higher than the untreated group.


Our results suggest that Dendrogenins constitute a new class of drugs with strong potential to improve cochlear implant efficacy and to treat neuropathy/synaptopathy related hearing loss. That electrical responsiveness was maintained despite a significantly reduced neural population suggests that the efficacy of cochlear implants is more related to the functional state of the spiral ganglion neurons than merely their number.


auditory nerve; cochlear implant; electrically-evoked auditory brainstem response; spiral ganglion neuron; steroidal alkaloid

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