The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-30) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
JS drafted the manuscript and evaluated the data. CK, RG made substantial contribution to the concept and the coordination of the animal experiments and the laboratory work. ASF evaluated the histologic data. ES contributed substantially to the design of the study and critically revised the manuscript. PL conceived and designed the study. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Experimental murine malaria has been shown to result in significant hearing impairment. Microscopic evaluation of the temporal bones of these animals has revealed regular morphology of the cochlea duct. Furthermore, the known vascular pathologic changes being associated with malaria could not be found. Immunohistochemistry for ICAM1 showed a strong marking in the stria vascularis, indicating a disturbance of the endocochlear potential. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of apoptosis and the disturbance of the blood labyrinth barrier in the murine malaria associated hearing impairment.
The temporal bones of seven mice with cerebral malaria-four with hearing impairment, three without hearing impairment-were evaluated with immunohistochemistry for cleaved caspase 3 to detect apoptosis and connexin 26, a gap junction protein being a cornerstone in the endocochlear potassium recirculation. Furthermore five animals with cerebral malaria were treated with Evans blue prior to sacrification to detect disturbances of the blood labyrinth barrier.
Cleaved caspase 3 could clearly be detected by immunohistochemistry in the fibrocytes of the spiral ligament, more intensively in animals with hearing impairment, less intensively in those without. Apoptosis signal was equally distributed in the spiral ligament as was the connexin 26 gap junction protein. The Evans blue testing revealed a strong signal in the malaria animals and no signal in the healthy control animals.
Malfunction of the fibrocytes type 1 in the spiral ligament and disruption of the blood labyrinth barrier, resulting in a breakdown of the endocochlear potential, are major causes for hearing impairment in murine cerebral malaria.
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- Apoptosis of the fibrocytes type 1 in the spiral ligament and blood labyrinth barrier disturbance cause hearing impairment in murine cerebral malaria
Christian H Kositz
- BioMed Central
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