Hearing loss is one of the most common sensory impairments in humans. Mouse mutant models helped us to better understand the mechanisms of hearing loss. Recently, we have discovered that the erlong (erl) mutation of the cadherin23 (Cdh23) gene leads to hearing loss due to hair cell apoptosis. In this study, we aimed to reveal the molecular pathways upstream to apoptosis in hair cells to exploit more effective therapeutics than an anti-apoptosis strategy. Our results suggest that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is the earliest molecular event leading to the apoptosis of hair cells and hearing loss in erl mice. We also report that the ER stress inhibitor, Salubrinal (Sal), could delay the progression of hearing loss and preserve hair cells. Our results provide evidence that therapies targeting signaling pathways in ER stress development prevent hair cell apoptosis at an early stage and lead to better outcomes than those targeting downstream factors, such as tip-link degeneration and apoptosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research