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Publication Detail
Localized disorganization of the cochlear inner hair cell synaptic region after noise exposure
The prevalence and importance of hearing damage caused by noise levels not previously thought to cause permanent hearing impairment has become apparent in recent years. The damage to, and loss of, afferent terminals of auditory nerve fibres at the cochlear inner hair cell has been well established, but the effects of noise exposure and terminal loss on the inner hair cell are less known. Using three-dimensional structural studies in mice we have examined the consequences of afferent terminal damage on inner hair cell morphology and intracellular structure. We identified a structural phenotype in the pre-synaptic regions of these damaged hair cells that persists for four weeks after noise exposure, and demonstrates a specific dysregulation of the synaptic vesicle recycling pathway. We show evidence of a failure in regeneration of vesicles from small membrane cisterns in damaged terminals, resulting from a failure of separation of small vesicle buds from the larger cisternal membranes.
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