The inner ear possesses remarkably stable homeostatic mechanisms for the maintenance of the functional integrity of the inner ear end-organs. The inner ear fluid maintains its homeostasis by a variety of subtle regulatory mechanisms, both locally and systemically. Any disturbance in one of these mechanisms can induce the disruption of homeostasis expressed by ionic, osmotic, or metabolic imbalance between the compartments. This can be manifested as membrane displacement or abnormal functions of the inner ear, depending on the degree of the disturbance. Further studies are necessary to clarify these regulatory mechanisms of homeostasis and those conditions which alter homeostasis which can result in the abnormal functions. Further research along this line is essential in order to understand the etiology of endolymphatic hydrops and also to establish guidelines for possible normalization of this pathological status.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by NINCDS grant NS14911.