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Dietary restriction reduces age-related degeneration of stria vascularis in the inner ear of the rat

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  • Paula Mannström, Karolinska Institutet
  • ,
  • Brun Ulfhake, Karolinska Institutet, Denmark
  • Mette Kirkegaard
  • Mats Ulfendahl, Karolinska Institutet

We report here beneficial effects of life-long dietary restriction on the progression of age-associated cochlear degeneration in female Sprague-Dawley rats. Thirty-month old rats on a 70% dietary restriction were compared to ad libitum fed age-matched rats, and three-month old adult rats. As expected, aged dietary restricted rats displayed about 20% higher survival rate than age-matched rats fed ad libitum. This difference was reflected also in the auditory system. In the dietary restricted group, 73% of the subjects had preserved auditory reflexes (Preyer), and only modest degeneration of the stria vascularis of the inner ear was observed. In contrast, aged ad libitum fed animals, of which only 15% had detectable Preyer reflexes, showed a marked thinning, cellular degeneration and loss of cell processes in the stria vascularis. The extent of loss of sensory hair cells (~24%) was similar in both the aged groups, and neither group showed a significant reduction in the number of spiral ganglion neurons across adult life-span. The observations thus demonstrate that dietary restriction delays age-related degradation of the auditory system. The results provide further insights into the mechanisms of strial presbycusis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Pages (from-to)1173-9
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

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