Direct administration of 2-Hydroxypropyl- Beta-Cyclodextrin into Guinea pig cochleae: Effects on physiological and histological measurements

J. T. Lichtenhan, K. Hirose, C. A. Buchman, R. K. Duncan, A. N. Salt

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17 Scopus citations


2-Hydroxypropyl-Beta-Cyclodextrin (HPβCD) can be used to treat Niemann-Pick type C disease, Alzheimer's disease, and atherosclerosis. But, a consequence is that HPβCD can cause hearing loss. HPβCD was recently found to be toxic to outer hair cells (OHCs) in the organ of Corti. Previous studies on the chronic effects of in vivo HPβCD toxicity did not know the intra-cochlear concentration of HPβCD and attributed variable effects on OHCs to indirect drug delivery to the cochlea. We studied the acute effects of known HPβCD concentrations administered directly into intact Guinea pig cochleae. Our novel approach injected solutions through pipette sealed into scala tympani in the cochlear apex. Solutions were driven along the length of the cochlear spiral toward the cochlear aqueduct in the base. This method ensured that therapeutic levels were achieved throughout the cochlea, including those regions tuned to mid to low frequencies and code speech vowels and background noise. A wide variety of measurements were made. Results were compared to measurements from ears treated with the HPβCD analog methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD), salicylate that is well known to attenuate the gain of the cochlear amplifier, and injection of artificial perilymph alone (controls). Histological data showed that OHCs appeared normal after treatment with a low dose of HPβCD, and physiological data was consistent with attenuation of cochlear amplifier gain and disruption of non-linearity associated with transferring acoustic sound into neural excitation, an origin of distortion products that are commonly used to objectively assess hearing and hearing loss. A high dose of HPβCD caused sporadic OHC losses and markedly affected all physiologic measurements. MβCD caused virulent destruction of OHCs and physiologic responses. Toxicity of HPβCD to OHC along the cochlear length is variable even when a known intra-cochlear concentration is administered, at least for the duration of our acute studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0175236
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2017


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