In order to clarify the possible mechanism of hearing loss in immune-mediated sensorineural hearing loss, basic research needed includes animal model studies. In the present investigation, we examined hearing thresholds and cochlear histologies of the MRL/lpr mouse which is now well-known as a model for pathology consistent with systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE). Present findings demonstrated that there were no statistically significant differences in auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds between 4- to 6-week-old 'young' and 20- to 25-week-old 'old' MRL mice. These differences were not sex-dependent. Under light microscopy, there were no abnormal morphological findings in the cochleas of either young or old MRL mice. With immunohistochemistry, mouse IgG was detected around the capillary walls in the stria vascularis in both young and old MRL mice. Serum IgG level of the MRL mice significantly decreased after predonisolone (PSL) administration. However, expression of mouse IgG in the stria vascularis was not observed in the MRL mice after PSL administration. From these results, we speculate that the hearing of the MRL mouse does not always deteriorate, and the deposition of mouse IgG on the capillary wall in the stria vascularis is not a sufficient factor to induce hearing loss. At this point, we conclude that the MRL mouse should not be considered a useful model for immune-mediated sensorineural hearing loss.
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