By the use of computer-assisted morphometric analysis of the organ of Corti and/or measurements of action potential threshold changes, inner ear changes in chinchillas were evaluated 4 weeks after application on the round window membrane of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A solution. Severe inner ear damage was detected after application of 50 ng (5 μL at a concentration of 10 μg/mL) exotoxin A, whereas application of 5 ng exotoxin did not cause measurable inner ear damage. Perilymph concentrations of exotoxin A were measured with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay 1.5 to 19 hours after 50 ng, 0.5 μg, or 5 μg of exotoxin A was applied on the round window membrane. Only the highest concentration produced measurable levels of exotoxin in the inner ear fluids. It is concluded that exotoxin A present on the round window membrane of the chinchilla has the ability to penetrate into the inner ear and cause irreversible inner ear changes.
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- Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A
- round window membrane permeability
- sensorineural hearing loss