Ahmed Gedawy, Hani Al-Salami, Crispin R Dass

Biochemical changes to the inner ear contributing to diabetes-induced hearing loss: possible pharmacological targets for therapy

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology

Abstract Objectives Biochemical alterations due to diabetes development and progress are complex and diabetes-associated injury to various tissues has been well reported. Nevertheless, a close investigation of the literature demonstrates limited coverage regarding these biochemical and molecular alterations within the inner ear and their impact on the vestibulocochlear environment. A closer look at these may reveal pharmacological targets that could alleviate the severity of disease in patients. Key findings Tight control of glucose levels within the highly metabolic inner ear structures is crucial for their physiology and function. Impaired glucose homeostasis is well known to occur in vestibulocochlear malfunctioning. Moreover, the involvement of insulin signalling, and glucose transporters were recently confirmed in vestibulocochlear structures and are believed to play a crucial role in auditory and vestibular functions. Conclusion Oxidative overload, glucolipotoxicity, perturbed blood rheology, endothelial dysfunction, compromised microvascular supply, and neurotoxicity are reported in many diabetic complications such as nephropathy, retinopathy, and diabetic neuropathy and are incriminated in the disruption of blood labyrinth barrier as well as vestibulocochlear neuritis. Dysfunctional insulin signalling was recently reported in the Organ of Corti. Insulin resistance in the inner ear niche warrants further studies to verify and uncover new pharmacological targets to manage this debilitating condition better.

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