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J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2016 Dec;17(6):493-523. Epub 2016 Oct 17.

Application of Mouse Models to Research in Hearing and Balance.

Author information

Department of Otolaryngology, Central Institute for the Deaf, Fay and Carl Simons Center for Hearing and Deafness, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid, Saint Louis, MO, 63110, USA.
Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, 68583, USA.
The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, 04609, USA.


Laboratory mice (Mus musculus) have become the major model species for inner ear research. The major uses of mice include gene discovery, characterization, and confirmation. Every application of mice is founded on assumptions about what mice represent and how the information gained may be generalized. A host of successes support the continued use of mice to understand hearing and balance. Depending on the research question, however, some mouse models and research designs will be more appropriate than others. Here, we recount some of the history and successes of the use of mice in hearing and vestibular studies and offer guidelines to those considering how to apply mouse models.


age-related hearing loss; ampullae; auditory neurons; cochlea; deafness; genetic hearing loss; hair cells; inbred; knockout; lateral wall; maculae; mice; noise-induced hearing loss; outbred; presbycusis; recombinant inbred; saccule; semicircular canal; stria vascularis; utricle; vestibular; vestibular testing

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Compliance with Ethical Standards Funding Agencies KKO: Washington University Medical School Department of Otolaryngology SAJ: Nebraska Tobacco Settlement Biomedical Research Foundation KRJ: NIH NIDCD RO1 DC004301, R01 DC005827

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