Regenerated hair cells exhibit a transient resistance to aminoglycoside toxicity

Eri Hashino, Richard J. Salvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Recent studies have demonstrated that sensory hair cells in the avian inner ear are reproduced by cell proliferation in response to the death of the original hair cell population. The regenerated hair cells appear to construct functional synaptic contacts, thereby transmitting acoustic signals to the peripheral nervous system. One of the most extraordinary, but overlooked characteristics of these regenerated hair cells, is their ability to survive in a highly ototoxic environment. Here, we report that hair cells regenerated after kanamycin induced hair cell loss can survive for a substantially longer time period than their predecessors during prolonged exposure to aminoglycoside antibiotics. The prolonged survival, however, belongs solely to the immature status of regenerated hair cells. Once the regenerated hair cells reach morphological maturation, they become vulnerable to aminoglycoside toxicity. Immunohistochemical evaluation of kanamycin suggested that kanamycin may be taken up into hair cells via a receptor-mediated endocytosis at their apical surfaces. By contrast, kanamycin was rarely incorporated into the cytoplasm of the regenerated hair cells. These results suggest that the process of a receptor-mediated transmembrane transport at the apical surface of hair cells is developmentally regulated, and that the lack of some of the assembly involved in the transmembrane transport could be responsible for the inhibition of aminoglycoside uptake, leading immature hair cells to be aminoglycoside resistant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-182
Number of pages11
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 13 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Aminoglycoside
  • Chicken
  • Drug resistance
  • Hair cell
  • Ototoxicity
  • Regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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