Anti-apoptotic effect of dexamethasone in an ototoxicity model

Jin Ho Lee, Se Heang Oh, Tae Ho Kim, Yoon Young Go, Jae Jun Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Dexamethasone (DEX) is used for the treatment of various inner ear diseases. However, the molecular mechanism of DEX on gentamicin induced hair cell damage is not known. Therefore, this study investigated the protective effect of DEX on gentamicin (GM)-induced ototoxicity and the effect of GM on the expression of apoptosis related genes. Methods: The protective effects of DEX were measured by phalloidin staining of explant cultures of organ of Corti from postnatal day 2-3 mice with GM-induced hair cell loss. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling staining was used to detect apoptosis and immunofluorescence was done to analyze the effect of DEX on the expression of apoptosis related genes. Results: Cochlear explant cultures of postnatal day-4-old mice were exposed to 0, 1, 5, 10, 30, 50, and 100 μg/ml DEX and GM during culture. DEX protected from GM-induced hair cell loss in the inner ear of postnatal day 4 mice. To understand the molecular mechanisms by which DEX pre-treatment decreased hair cell loss, the testes of cochlear explant cultures of postnatal day 4 mice were examined for changes in expression of cochlear apoptosis mediators. The pro-apoptotic protein Bax was significantly down-regulated and numbers of apoptotic hair cells were decreased. Conclusions: DEX has a protective effect on GM-induced hair cell loss in neonatal cochlea cultures and the protective mechanism may involve inhibition of the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. The combination with scaffold technique can improve delivery of DEX into the inner ear to protect GM-induced ototoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalBiomaterials Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s). 2017.


  • Dexamethasone
  • Explant culture
  • Gentamicin
  • Ototoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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