Cochlear cytokine gene expression in murine chronic otitis media

Bobak A. Ghaheri, J. Beth Kempton, De Ann M. Pillers, Dennis R. Trune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate chronic otitis media (COM) induction of cochlear cytokine genes. Study Design: RNA from cochleas of five C3H/HeJ mice with and without COM was isolated for cytokine expression in gene arrays. Immunohistochemistry was performed for the protein products of up-regulated genes to confirm their expression in cochlear tissues. Results: Cochleas from COM mice showed increased expression of 29 genes (>2× normal) and decreased expression of 19 genes (<0.5× normal). Cytokines expressed were largely those related to inflammation and tissue remodeling. Cochlear immunohistochemistry confirmed the presence of numerous cytokines, as well as NF-kB, a major inflammatory transcription factor that drives cytokine expression. Conclusion: COM causes elevated levels of cochlear cytokine mRNA, which demonstrates that inner ear tissues are capable of NF-kB activation and cytokine production. This may be another mechanism of otitis media-induced cochlear cytotoxicity in addition to that caused by migration of inflammatory cytokines from the middle ear. Significance: Cochlear tissues are capable of mounting an immunological response to middle ear inflammatory stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-337
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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