Hearing loss through apoptosis of the spiral ganglion neurons in apolipoprotein E knockout mice fed with a western diet.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Jan 13. Epub 2020 Jan 13. PMID: 31948760
Yoo Yeon Kim
Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is a neurodegenerative disease associated with an aged population. ARHL is influenced by biological factors such as aging, sex difference, and atherosclerosis. The mechanisms of ARHL caused by atherosclerosis have not been previously determined in apolipoprotein E knockout (ApoE KO) male mice. To investigate the onset and cause of the hearing loss, ApoE KO male mice were treated with a western diet (ApoE KO-WD) for 16 weeks. The lipid profile, atherosclerotic plaques throughout the aorta, and auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds were measured in the ApoE KO-WD male mice. The expression of S100 calcium-binding protein B (S100B), a neuronal damage biomarker, was also observed. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and apoptosis rates were detected in the cochlea of the ApoE KO male mice. Atherosclerotic plaques on the aorta and ABR thresholds were significantly increased in the ApoE KO-WD male mice at 24 weeks of age. ABR thresholds had a statistically significant positive correlation with the area of atherosclerotic plaques (r = 0.783, p = 0.013) in male mice at 24 weeks of age. S100B protein expression and the dihydroethidium (DHE) reaction to ROS in the cochlear spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) were significantly increased in the ApoE KO and ApoE KO-WD male mice. Cells positive for active caspase-3 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase biotin-dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) in the SGNs were significantly increased in ApoE KO-WD male mice indicating an increased rate of cellular apoptosis. In conclusion, ROS in the SGNs were activated by increased S100B expression in ApoE KO-WD male mice, and this resulted inan increased apoptosis rate. Thus, hearing loss began at 16 weeks in ApoE KO-WD male mice. Our results suggest that the ApoE KO-WD male mice are a suitable animal model for studying ARHL associated with exacerbated atherosclerosis.