Chemical neuroprotection in the cochlea: The modulation of dopamine release from lateral olivocochlear efferents

Balázs Lendvai, György B. Halmos, Gábor Polony, Judit Kapocsi, Tamás Horváth, Máté Aller, E. Sylvester Vizi, Tibor Zelles

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

31 Citations (Scopus)


The prevalence of sensorineural hearing loss is increasing worldwide, mainly due to ageing, increased noise exposure and cardiovascular risk factors. Several papers dealt with the mechanisms underlying the primary causes of impaired hearing and eventual deafness, including the damage and loss of auditory hair cells; however, very little is known about the protective mechanisms that exist for hearing. Several recent investigations have implicated dopamine (DA) in a neuroprotective circuit for the cochlea. The lateral olivocochlear (LOC) efferents provide axonal innervation of the inner hair cell afferent synapses and release DA and other substances in response to different stimuli. Under ischemic conditions or during noise exposure, DA has been proven to play a neuroprotective role against glutamate excitotoxicity. This review summarises what is currently known about the modulation of DA release in the cochlea, using primarily in vitro experimental data. Based on recent knowledge, there could be two functional subgroups within the LOC fibres, i.e.; the DA- and GABA-containing projections. In this review, we attempt to show the neurochemical interactions between these two subsystems. Other aspects of cochlear neurotransmission are also discussed to provide a complete picture of cochlear dopaminergic function in physiological and pathophysiological cases with particular reference to excitotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-158
Number of pages9
JournalNeurochemistry international
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Clinical treatment
  • Cochlea
  • Hearing loss
  • Neuroprotection
  • Organ of Corti
  • Presbycusis
  • Role of dopamine
  • Tinnitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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