Fay and Carl Simons Center for the Biology of Hearing & Deafness

After various forms of injury, the inner ear degenerates and inflammatory cells exit the blood vessels and enter the fluid spaces of the cochlea. To what degree these inflammatory cells could be helpful for repair or could serve to exacerbate injury is uncertain. We use methods to image live macrophages in cultures of the mouse inner ear as well as methods to suppress monocytes and macrophages in living mice to determine how these cells affect injury in the cochlea after exposure to ototoxic medications, noise damage or other insults that affect the survival of inner ear sensory cells.