Glucocorticoids are effective in reversing hearing loss, but their severe side effects limit long term management of many ear disorders. A clearer understanding of these side effects is critical for prolonged therapeutic control of hearing and vestibular dysfunction. Therefore, this study characterized the impact of the glucocorticoid prednisolone on cochlear dysfunction and systemic organ systems in C3.MRL-Faslpr autoimmune mice and their normal C3H/HeJ parent strain. Following 3 months of treatment, autoimmune mice had better auditory thresholds and improved hematocrits, anti-nuclear antibodies, and immune complexes. Steroid treatment also lowered body and spleen weights, both of which rise with systemic autoimmune disease. Steroid treatment of the normal C3H/HeJ mice significantly elevated their blood hematocrits and lowered their body and spleen weights to abnormal levels. Thus, systemic autoimmune disease and its related hearing loss in C3.MRL-Faslpr mice are steroid-responsive, but normal hemopoiesis and organ functions can be significantly compromised. This mouse model may be useful for studies of the detrimental side effects of steroid treatments for hearing loss.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research supported by the Lester T. Jones Chair in Oculoplastics, NIH-NIDCD R01 DC05593, NIDCD P30 DC005983, and VA RR&D National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research Program No. C2659C, Portland VAMC.
- Autoimmune hearing loss
- C3.MRL-Fas autoimmune mice
- C3H/HeJ mice
- Steroid side effects
- Systemic lupus erythematosus