The sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX) is an effective tool for blockade of action potentials. Unilateral transtympanic administration of 3 mM TTX produced behavioral symptoms similar to those following unilateral peripheral vestibular ablation. Complete resolution of visible symptoms occurred between 48 and 72 h post-TTX. Eye-coil recordings indicated a spontaneous nystagmus and a decrease in the VOR in TTX-treated animals. Neuronal activity in the central vestibular complex (VC), as monitored with Fos immunocytochemistry, revealed an asymmetric pattern of Fos labeling in the medial, inferior and superior vestibular nuclei and the prepositus hypoglossal nucleus. Although the spatio-temporal pattern of Fos labeling was consistent and reproducible at each time-point, changes were noted among time-points. Transient blockade with TTX may be useful for studying the central vestibular response to recurrent or episodic vestibular disruption in the intact system.
- Inner ear