Otolaryngology - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 80
Inner Ear Morphology Is Perturbed in Two Novel Mouse Models of Recessive Deafness
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-12-12)
Human MYO7A mutations can cause a variety of conditions involving the inner ear. These include dominant and recessive non-syndromic hearing loss and syndromic conditions such as Usher syndrome. Mouse models of deafness allow us to investigate functional pathways involved in normal and abnormal hearing processes. We present two novel mouse models with mutations in the Myo7a gene with distinct phenotypes. The mutation in Myo7a(I487N/I487N) ewaso is located within the head motor domain of Myo7a. Mice exhibit a profound hearing loss and manifest behaviour associated with a vestibular defect. A mutation located in the linker region between the coiled-coil and the first MyTH4 domains of the protein is responsible in Myo7a(F947I/F947I) dumbo. These mice show a less severe hearing loss than in Myo7a(I487N/I487N) ewaso; their hearing loss threshold is elevated at 4 weeks old, and progressively worsens with age. These mice show no obvious signs of vestibular dysfunction, although scanning electron microscopy reveals a mild phenotype in vestibular stereocilia bundles. The Myo7a(F947I/F947I) dumbo strain is therefore the first reported Myo7a mouse model without an overt vestibular phenotype; a possible model for human DFNB2 deafness. Understanding the molecular basis of these newly identified mutations will provide knowledge into the complex genetic pathways involved in the maintenance of hearing, and will provide insight into recessively inherited sensorineural hearing loss in humans.
Neurotrophin Gene Therapy for Sustained Neural Preservation after Deafness
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-12-17)
The cochlear implant provides auditory cues to profoundly deaf patients by electrically stimulating the residual spiral ganglion neurons. These neurons, however, undergo progressive degeneration after hearing loss, marked initially by peripheral fibre retraction and ultimately culminating in cell death. This research aims to use gene therapy techniques to both hold and reverse this degeneration by providing a sustained and localised source of neurotrophins to the deafened cochlea. Adenoviral vectors containing green fluorescent protein, with or without neurotrophin-3 and brain derived neurotrophic factor, were injected into the lower basal turn of scala media of guinea pigs ototoxically deafened one week prior to intervention. This single injection resulted in localised and sustained gene expression, principally in the supporting cells within the organ of Corti. Guinea pigs treated with adenoviral neurotrophin-gene therapy had greater neuronal survival compared to contralateral non-treated cochleae when examined at 7 and 11 weeks post injection. Moreover; there was evidence of directed peripheral fibre regrowth towards cells expressing neurotrophin genes after both treatment periods. These data suggest that neurotrophin-gene therapy can provide sustained protection of spiral ganglion neurons and peripheral fibres after hearing loss.
Pre-, Per- and Postoperative Factors Affecting Performance of Postlinguistically Deaf Adults Using Cochlear Implants: A New Conceptual Model over Time
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-11-09)
OBJECTIVE: To test the influence of multiple factors on cochlear implant (CI) speech performance in quiet and in noise for postlinguistically deaf adults, and to design a model of predicted auditory performance with a CI as a function of the significant factors. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective multi-centre study. METHODS: Data from 2251 patients implanted since 2003 in 15 international centres were collected. Speech scores in quiet and in noise were converted into percentile ranks to remove differences between centres. The influence of 15 pre-, per- and postoperative factors, such as the duration of moderate hearing loss (mHL), the surgical approach (cochleostomy or round window approach), the angle of insertion, the percentage of active electrodes, and the brand of device were tested. The usual factors, duration of profound HL (pHL), age, etiology, duration of CI experience, that are already known to have an influence, were included in the statistical analyses. RESULTS: The significant factors were: the pure tone average threshold of the better ear, the brand of device, the percentage of active electrodes, the use of hearing aids (HAs) during the period of pHL, and the duration of mHL. CONCLUSIONS: A new model was designed showing a decrease of performance that started during the period of mHL, and became faster during the period of pHL. The use of bilateral HAs slowed down the related central reorganization that is the likely cause of the decreased performance.
The Construct Validity and Reliability of an Assessment Tool for Competency in Cochlear Implant Surgery
(HINDAWI LTD, 2014-01-01)
INTRODUCTION: We introduce a rating tool that objectively evaluates the skills of surgical trainees performing cochlear implant surgery. METHODS: Seven residents and seven experts performed cochlear implant surgery sessions from mastoidectomy to cochleostomy on a standardized virtual reality temporal bone. A total of twenty-eight assessment videos were recorded and two consultant otolaryngologists evaluated the performance of each participant using these videos. RESULTS: Interrater reliability was calculated using the intraclass correlation coefficient for both the global and checklist components of the assessment instrument. The overall agreement was high. The construct validity of this instrument was strongly supported by the significantly higher scores in the expert group for both components. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that the proposed assessment tool for cochlear implant surgery is reliable, accurate, and easy to use. This instrument can thus be used to provide objective feedback on overall and task-specific competency in cochlear implantation.
Functional Characterization of Friedreich Ataxia iPS-Derived Neuronal Progenitors and Their Integration in the Adult Brain
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2014-07-07)
Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is an autosomal recessive disease characterised by neurodegeneration and cardiomyopathy that is caused by an insufficiency of the mitochondrial protein, frataxin. Our previous studies described the generation of FRDA induced pluripotent stem cell lines (FA3 and FA4 iPS) that retained genetic characteristics of this disease. Here we extend these studies, showing that neural derivatives of FA iPS cells are able to differentiate into functional neurons, which don't show altered susceptibility to cell death, and have normal mitochondrial function. Furthermore, FA iPS-derived neural progenitors are able to differentiate into functional neurons and integrate in the nervous system when transplanted into the cerebellar regions of host adult rodent brain. These are the first studies to describe both in vitro and in vivo characterization of FA iPS-derived neurons and demonstrate their capacity to survive long term. These findings are highly significant for developing FRDA therapies using patient-derived stem cells.
A microelectromechanical system artificial basilar membrane based on a piezoelectric cantilever array and its characterization using an animal model
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2015-07-31)
We proposed a piezoelectric artificial basilar membrane (ABM) composed of a microelectromechanical system cantilever array. The ABM mimics the tonotopy of the cochlea: frequency selectivity and mechanoelectric transduction. The fabricated ABM exhibits a clear tonotopy in an audible frequency range (2.92-12.6 kHz). Also, an animal model was used to verify the characteristics of the ABM as a front end for potential cochlear implant applications. For this, a signal processor was used to convert the piezoelectric output from the ABM to an electrical stimulus for auditory neurons. The electrical stimulus for auditory neurons was delivered through an implanted intra-cochlear electrode array. The amplitude of the electrical stimulus was modulated in the range of 0.15 to 3.5 V with incoming sound pressure levels (SPL) of 70.1 to 94.8 dB SPL. The electrical stimulus was used to elicit an electrically evoked auditory brainstem response (EABR) from deafened guinea pigs. EABRs were successfully measured and their magnitude increased upon application of acoustic stimuli from 75 to 95 dB SPL. The frequency selectivity of the ABM was estimated by measuring the magnitude of EABRs while applying sound pressure at the resonance and off-resonance frequencies of the corresponding cantilever of the selected channel. In this study, we demonstrated a novel piezoelectric ABM and verified its characteristics by measuring EABRs.
Soluble amyloid triggers a myeloid differentiation factor 88 and interferon regulatory factor 7 dependent neuronal type-1 interferon response in vitro
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2015-04-12)
BACKGROUND: Neuro-inflammation has long been implicated as a contributor to the progression of Alzheimer's disease in both humans and animal models. Type-1 interferons (IFNs) are pleiotropic cytokines critical in mediating the innate immune pro-inflammatory response. The production of type-1 IFNs following pathogen detection is, in part, through the activation of the toll-like receptors (TLRs) and subsequent signalling through myeloid differentiation factor-88 (Myd88) and interferon regulatory factors (IRFs). We have previously identified that neuronal type-1 IFN signalling, through the type-1 interferon alpha receptor-1 (IFNAR1), is detrimental in models of AD. Using an in vitro approach, this study investigated the TLR network as a potential production pathway for neuronal type-1 IFNs in response to Aβ. METHODS: Wildtype and Myd88(-/-) primary cultured cortical and hippocampal neurons were treated with 2.5 μM Aβ1-42 for 24 to 72 h or 1 to 10 μM Aβ1-42 for 72 h. Human BE(2)M17 neuroblastoma cells stably expressing an IRF7 small hairpin RNA (shRNA) or negative control shRNA construct were subjected to 7.5 μM Aβ1-42/Aβ42-1 for 24 to 96 h, 2.5 to 15 μM Aβ1-42 for 96 h or 100 ng/ml LPS for 0.5 to 24 h. Q-PCR was used to analyse IFNα, IFNβ, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNFα mRNA transcript levels. Phosphorylation of STAT-3 was detected by Western blot analysis, and cell viability was assessed by MTS assay. RESULTS: Reduced IFNα, IFNβ, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNFα expression was detected in Aβ1-42-treated Myd88(-/-) neurons compared to wildtype cells. This correlated with reduced phosphorylation of STAT-3, a downstream type-1 IFN signalling mediator. Significantly, Myd88(-/-) neuronal cultures were protected against Aβ1-42-induced neurotoxicity compared to wildtype as determined by MTS assay. Knockdown of IRF7 in M17 cells was sufficient in blocking IFNα, IFNβ and p-STAT-3 induction to both Aβ1-42 and the TLR4 agonist LPS. M17 IRF7 KD cells were also protected against Aβ1-42-induced cytotoxicity. CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms that the neuronal type-1 IFN response to soluble amyloid is mediated primarily through TLRs. This production is dependent upon Myd88 and IRF7 signalling. This study suggests that targeting this pathway to modulate neuronal type-1 IFN levels may be beneficial in controlling Aβ-induced neurotoxicity.
Firing frequency and entrainment maintained in primary auditory neurons in the presence of combined BDNF and NT3
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2016-06-23)
Primary auditory neurons rely on neurotrophic factors for development and survival. We previously determined that exposure to brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT3) alters the activity of hyperpolarization-activated currents (Ih) in this neuronal population. Since potassium channels are sensitive to neurotrophins, and changes in Ih are often accompanied by a shift in voltage-gated potassium currents (IK), this study examined IK with exposure to both BDNF and NT3 and the impact on firing entrainment during high frequency pulse trains. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings revealed significant changes in action potential latency and duration, but no change in firing adaptation or total outward IK. Dendrotoxin-I (DTX-I), targeting voltage-gated potassium channel subunits KV1.1 and KV1.2, uncovered an increase in the contribution of DTX-I sensitive currents with exposure to neurotrophins. No difference in Phrixotoxin-1 (PaTX-1) sensitive currents, mediated by KV4.2 and KV4.3 subunits, was observed. Further, no difference was seen in firing entrainment. These results show that combined BDNF and NT3 exposure influences the contribution of KV1.1 and KV1.2 to the low voltage-activated potassium current (IKL). Whilst this is accompanied by a shift in spike latency and duration, both firing frequency and entrainment to high frequency pulse trains are preserved.
Invasive Fungal Rhinosinusitis versus Bacterial Rhinosinusitis with Orbital Complications: A Case-Control Study
(HINDAWI PUBLISHING CORPORATION, 2013-01-01)
BACKGROUND: Invasive fungal rhinosinusitis with orbital complications (IFSwOC) is a life-threatening condition. The incidence of mortality has been reported to be up to 80 percent. This study was conducted to determine the risk factors, presentations, clinical, and imaging findings that could help to manage this condition promptly. METHODS: We conducted a case-control study of 100 patients suffering from rhinosinusitis with orbital complications. The risk factors, clinical presentations, radiological findings, medical and surgical managements, durations of hospital stay, and mortality rate data were collected. RESULTS: Sixty-five patients were diagnosed with IFSwOC, while the other thirty-five patients composed the control group. The most important risk factor for IFSwOC was diabetes mellitus. Visual loss and diplopia were the significant symptom predictors. The significant clinical predictors were nasal crust, oculomotor nerve, and optic nerve involvement. The CT findings of IFSwOC were sinus wall erosion and hyperdensity lesions. The mortality rate was 25.71 percent in the IFSwOC group and 3.17 percent in the control group. CONCLUSIONS: Invasive fungal rhinosinusitis with orbital complications is symptomatic of a high mortality rate. The awareness of a patient's risk factors, the presenting symptoms, signs of fungal invasion, and aggressive management will determine the success of any treatment procedures.
A protocol for whole-exome sequencing in newborns with congenital deafness: a prospective population-based cohort.
Introduction: The aetiology of congenital hearing loss is heterogeneous, and in many infants a genetic cause is suspected. Parents face a diagnostic odyssey when searching for a cause of their infant's hearing loss. Through the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance, a prospective cohort of infants will be offered whole-exome sequencing (WES) with targeted analysis in conjunction with chromosome microarray to determine the genetic causes of congenital hearing loss. Parents will also be offered the opportunity to receive additional results from their infant's WES. Methods: Eligible infants will be identified through the Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program and offered an appointment in a paediatrician-run clinic, a genetics assessment and enrolment in the Victorian Childhood Hearing Impairment Longitudinal Databank. If parents consent to WES, genes causing deafness will be analysed and they can choose to obtain additional findings. For the additional results component, a modified laboratory protocol has been designed for reporting of results in the absence of a relevant phenotype. Parents' experience of being offered WES will be evaluated using surveys. Discussion: This project will provide descriptive analysis of the genetic aetiology of congenital hearing loss in this cohort and may provide data on genotype-phenotype correlations. Additionally, choices regarding additional findings will be analysed. Participants will represent a diverse cross section of the population, increasing the ability to generalise results beyond the study group. Evaluation surveys will allow analysis of preferences around counselling, usefulness of a decision aid and adequacy of information provision.
Cortical Processing Related to Intensity of a Modulated Noise Stimulus-a Functional Near-Infrared Study
Sound intensity is a key feature of auditory signals. A profound understanding of cortical processing of this feature is therefore highly desirable. This study investigates whether cortical functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) signals reflect sound intensity changes and where on the brain cortex maximal intensity-dependent activations are located. The fNIRS technique is particularly suitable for this kind of hearing study, as it runs silently. Twenty-three normal hearing subjects were included and actively participated in a counterbalanced block design task. Four intensity levels of a modulated noise stimulus with long-term spectrum and modulation characteristics similar to speech were applied, evenly spaced from 15 to 90 dB SPL. Signals from auditory processing cortical fields were derived from a montage of 16 optodes on each side of the head. Results showed that fNIRS responses originating from auditory processing areas are highly dependent on sound intensity level: higher stimulation levels led to higher concentration changes. Caudal and rostral channels showed different waveform morphologies, reflecting specific cortical signal processing of the stimulus. Channels overlying the supramarginal and caudal superior temporal gyrus evoked a phasic response, whereas channels over Broca's area showed a broad tonic pattern. This data set can serve as a foundation for future auditory fNIRS research to develop the technique as a hearing assessment tool in the normal hearing and hearing-impaired populations.
Intraoperative Observational Real-time Electrocochleography as a Predictor of Hearing Loss After Cochlear Implantation: 3 and 12 Month Outcomes
(LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2020-10-01)
OBJECTIVE: A decrease in intracochlear electrocochleographic (ECochG) amplitude during cochlear implantation has been associated with poorer postoperative hearing preservation in several short-term studies. Here, we relate the stability of ECochG during surgery to hearing preservation at 3- and 12-months. METHODS: Patients with hearing ≤80-dB HL at 500 Hz were implanted with a slim-straight electrode array. ECochG responses to short, high-intensity, 500-Hz pure tones of alternating polarity were recorded continuously from the apical-most electrode during implantation. No feedback was provided to the surgeon. ECochG amplitude was derived from the difference response, and implantations classified by the presence ("ECochG drop") or absence ("no drop") of a ≥30% reduction in ECochG amplitude during insertion. Residual hearing (relative and absolute) was reported against the ECochG class. RESULTS: ECochG was recorded from 109 patients. Of these, interpretable ECochG signals were recorded from 95. Sixty-six of 95 patients had an ECochG drop during implantation. Patients with an ECochG drop had poorer preoperative hearing above 1000 Hz. Hearing preservation (in decibels, relative to preoperative levels and functionally) was significantly poorer at 250-, 500-, and 1000-Hz at 3 months in patients exhibiting an ECochG drop. Twelve-month outcomes were available from 85 patients, with significantly poorer functional hearing, and greater relative and absolute hearing loss from 250 to 1000 Hz, when an ECochG drop had been encountered. CONCLUSION: Patients exhibiting ECochG drops during implantation had significantly poorer hearing preservation 12 months later. These observational outcomes support the future development of surgical interventions responsive to real-time intracochlear ECochG. Early intervention to an ECochG drop could potentially lead to prolonged improvements in hearing preservation.