Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Yale Researchers Find Environmental Toxins Disruptive To Hearing In Mammals

Date:
April 11, 2006
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Yale School of Medicine researchers have new data showing chloride ions are critical to hearing in mammals, which builds on previous research showing a chemical used to keep barnacles off boats might disrupt the balance of these ions in ear cells.

Yale School of Medicine researchers have new data showing chloride ions are critical to hearing in mammals, which builds on previous research showing a chemical used to keep barnacles off boats might disrupt the balance of these ions in ear cells.

Related Articles


"Our data are the first to directly show that chloride ions are crucial for our exquisite sense of hearing," said Joseph Santos-Sacchi, professor in the Departments of Surgery and Neurobiology and first author of the study in the Journal of Neuroscience. "These data also indicate that the hearing in marine and other mammals could be affected by environmental toxins, such as TBT (tributyl tin), because they appear to alter the balance of chloride ions in the outer hair cell."

Sensitive hearing in mammals relies on cochlear amplification resulting from the motor activity of outer hair cells. They are the only group of animals that have outer hair cells. Additionally, TBT is known to damage the immune and hormonal systems of marine mammals.

In this study on guinea pigs, Santos-Sacchi tested whether TBT or salicylate, which is a chemical that occurs naturally in plants and is a component of aspirin, interfered with the guinea pigs' ability to hear. He found that TBT, salicylate, or otherwise altering the extracellular chloride levels in the cochleas, interfered with the balance of chloride in the outer hair cells and caused profound changes in sound amplification in the inner ear.

In his previous study using TBT on isolated cells only, Santos-Sacchi had proposed that the ear's ability to perceive sound would be compromised. He also speculated that whales and other marine mammals exposed to TBT would have altered sound localization abilities. The present findings confirm that their hearing is altered in mammals.

"Since many marine mammals use echolocation or sonar to get around, this could be contributing to whales and dolphins beaching and hitting ships," Santos-Sacchi said.

Co-authors include Lei Song, M.D., Jiefu Zheng, M.D., and Alfred Nuttall. The study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Journal of Neuroscience: (published online April 12, 2006 DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4548-05.2006)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Yale Researchers Find Environmental Toxins Disruptive To Hearing In Mammals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060411222453.htm>.
Yale University. (2006, April 11). Yale Researchers Find Environmental Toxins Disruptive To Hearing In Mammals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060411222453.htm
Yale University. "Yale Researchers Find Environmental Toxins Disruptive To Hearing In Mammals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060411222453.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins