Competitive antagonism of fluorescent gentamicin uptake in the cochlea

Qi Wang, Allan Kachelmeier, P. S. Steyger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Aminoglycosides enter inner ear hair cells via apical endocytosis, or mechanoelectrical transduction channels, implying that, in vivo, aminoglycosides enter hair cells from endolymph prior to exerting their cytotoxic effect. If so, circulating aminoglycosides likely cross the strial blood-labyrinth barrier and enter marginal cells prior to clearance into endolymph. We characterized the competitive antagonism of unconjugated aminoglycosides on the uptake of fluorescent gentamicin (GTTR) in the stria vascularis and kidney cells at an early time point.In mice, uptake of GTTR by kidney proximal tubule cells was competitively antagonized by gentamicin at all doses, but only weakly by kanamycin (mimicking in vitro data). GTTR fluorescence was ∼100-fold greater in proximal tubule cells than in the stria vascularis. Furthermore, only high molar ratios of aminoglycosides significantly reduced strial uptake of GTTR. Thus, gentamicin antagonism of GTTR uptake is more efficacious in proximal tubules than in the stria vascularis.Competitive antagonism of GTTR uptake is indicative of specific cell-regulatable uptake mechanisms (e.g., ion channels, transporters) in the kidney. Strial uptake mechanisms have lower specific affinity for gentamicin, and/or density (compared to the kidney), yet may be critical to transport gentamicin across the strial blood-labyrinth barrier into marginal cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-259
Number of pages10
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Competitive antagonism of fluorescent gentamicin uptake in the cochlea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this