Recovery of vestibular function following hair cell destruction by streptomycin

Timothy A. Jones, Rick C. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


Can the vestibular periphery of warm-blooded vertebrates recover functionally from severe sensory hair cell loss? Recent findings in birds suggest a mechanism for recovery but in fact no direct functional evidence has been reported. We produced vestibular hair cell lesions using the ototoxic agent streptomycin sulfate (600 mg/kg/day, 8 days, chicks, Gallus domesticus). Compound action potentials of the vestibular nerve were used as a direct measure of peripheral vestibular function. Vestibular thresholds, neural activation latencies and amplitudes were documented. Eight days of drug treatment elevated thresholds significantly (P < 0.001) and eliminated all but remnants of vestibular activity. Virtually complete physiological recovery occurred in all animals studied over a period of 70 days following treatment. Thresholds recovered within two weeks of drug treatment whereas the return of response morphologies including activation latencies and amplitudes required an additional 6-8 weeks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
JournalHearing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1992


  • Aminoglycosides
  • Chick
  • Hair cell regeneration
  • Ototoxicity
  • Vestibular recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems

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