Hearing loss is often caused by death of the mechanosensory hair cells of the inner ear. Hair cells are susceptible to death caused by aging, noise trauma, and ototoxic drugs, including the aminoglycoside antibiotics and the antineoplastic agent cisplatin. Ototoxic drugs result in permanent hearing loss for over 500 000 Americans annually. We showed previously that induction of heat shock proteins (HSPs) inhibits both aminoglycoside-and cisplatin-induced hair cell death in whole-organ cultures of utricles fro…
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