Mechanism Underlying the Effects of Estrogen Deficiency on Otoconia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Otoconia-related vertigo and balance deficits, particularly benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), are common. Our recent studies in humans show that, while BPPV prevalence greatly increases with age in both genders, peri-menopausal women are especially susceptible. In the present study, we show that bilateral ovariectomized (OVX) mice have significant balance behavioral deficits, and that estrogen deficiency compromises otoconia maintenance and anchoring by reducing the expression of otoconial component and anchoring proteins. There is ectopic debris formation in the ampulla under estrogen deficiency due to aberrant matrix protein expression. Furthermore, phytoestrogen is effective in rescuing the otoconia abnormalities. By comparing the expression levels of known estrogen receptor (Esr) subtypes, and by examining the otoconia phenotypes of null mice for selected receptors, we postulate that Esr2 may be critical in mediating the effects of estrogen in otoconia maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-362
Number of pages10
JournalJARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 30 2018


  • BPPV
  • estrogen deficiency
  • estrogen receptor
  • menopause
  • otoconia
  • phytoestrogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanism Underlying the Effects of Estrogen Deficiency on Otoconia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this