Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cholesterol Fine Tunes Hearing

Date:
December 15, 2007
Source:
Baylor College of Medicine
Summary:
Levels of cholesterol in the membranes of hair cells in the inner ear can affect your hearing according to an article in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. There are two types of sensory hair cells in the inner ear called the inner and outer hair cells. It is the outer hair cells that are affected by cholesterol levels and produce the inaudible sounds in the ear canal.

Levels of cholesterol in the membranes of hair cells in the inner ear can affect your hearing, said a consortium of researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University and Purdue University in a new report in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Related Articles


Dr. William Brownell, professor of otolaryngology at BCM and his colleagues, said that the amount of cholesterol in the outer hair cell membrane found in the inner ear can affect hearing.

"We've known for a long time that cholesterol is lower in the outer hair cell membranes than in the other cells of the body," said Brownell, senior author of the report "What we didn't know was the relationship it had to hearing."

Dr. Lavanya Rajagopalan, postdoctoral fellow in otolaryngology at BCM, led the research team that manipulated the cholesterol levels in outer hair cells of mice. She and her colleagues measured the mice's hearing ability by a technique that uses inaudible sound waves emitted from the ear as it reacts to external sound. There are two types of sensory hair cells in the inner ear called the inner and outer hair cells. It is the outer hair cells that are affected by cholesterol levels and produce the inaudible sounds in the ear canal.

"Depleting the cholesterol resulted in a hearing loss. Adding cholesterol initially increased hearing but later resulted in a hearing loss," Brownell said. "So you can change an animals hearing just by adding or subtracting cholesterol."

The fine tuning of the cholesterol happens naturally in development and does not change significantly after birth. In contrast, cholesterol in the bloodstream can vary with eating habits. That is why avoiding fatty foods can promote a healthy heart.

"Will our hearing be affected if we continually eat greasy meals? Right now, we don't see a connection between the two," Brownell said. "The results of the study help us understand the cellular mechanisms for regulating hearing and give us another way to potentially help those with hearing loss."

Others who took part in the study include Drs. Anping Xia, Angela Sturm, John S. Oghalai, Fred A. Pereira, and research assistant Haiying Liu of BCM, Jennifer N. Greeson and Dr. Robert M. Raphael of Rice University and Dr. Amy L. Davidson of Purdue University.

This study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the National Science Foundation, the Deafness Research Foundation, the Keck Center for Interdisciplinary Bioscience Training and the Welch Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Baylor College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Baylor College of Medicine. "Cholesterol Fine Tunes Hearing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071214183442.htm>.
Baylor College of Medicine. (2007, December 15). Cholesterol Fine Tunes Hearing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071214183442.htm
Baylor College of Medicine. "Cholesterol Fine Tunes Hearing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071214183442.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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