An animal model of ocular vestibular-evoked myogenic potential in guinea pig

Institute of Toxicology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Experimental Brain Research (Impact Factor: 2.04). 08/2010; 205(2):145-52. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-010-2346-8
Source: PubMed


This study aimed to establish an animal model of ocular vestibular-evoked myogenic potential (oVEMP) in guinea pigs. Ten healthy and 10 gentamicin-treated guinea pigs underwent oVEMP test using a hand-held bone-conducted vibrator placed on the animal's forehead. All 10 healthy animals exhibited bilateral oVEMPs at the stimulus intensity of 139 dB force level (FL), with a mean threshold and latencies of peak nI and pI of 130 +/- 4 dBFL, 3.17 +/- 0.37 ms and 4.72 +/- 0.38 ms, respectively. Similar to response rate, the nI-pI amplitude decreased markedly in magnitude as stimulus intensity decreased. Another 10 animals administered with gentamicin (2 mg) on the left ear 1 week after surgery had 100% clear oVEMPs beneath the left eye (ipsilateral to the lesion side), whereas oVEMPs were absent and reduced beneath the right eye (opposite to the lesion side) in 7 and 3 animals, respectively. Morphological study of animals with absent oVEMPs identified substantial damage to the hair cells of the utricular macula. Quantitative analysis revealed that histological density of intact hair cells of the utricular macula from control and lesion ears were 194 +/- 15 and 66 +/- 9 per 130 x 130 microm(2) field, respectively, showing a 68% reduction in the latter. Further, the stereocilia of the residual hair cells were either fused or deformed, and pointed outward randomly. In conclusion, this study establishes the animal model of oVEMP in guinea pigs using bone-conducted vibration stimuli, which sets the stage for investigating the pathophysiology of the utricular disorders.

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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was: (a) to test whether short duration (6 ms) 500 Hz bone-conducted vibration (BCV) of the skull in alert head free guinea pigs would elicit eye movements; (b) to test whether these eye movements were vestibular in origin; and (c) to determine whether they corresponded to human eye movements to such stimuli. In this way we sought to establish the guinea pig as an acceptable model for testing the mechanism of the effect BCV on the vestibulo-ocular reflex. Consistent short-latency stimulus-locked responses to BCV were observed. The magnitude of eye displacement was directly related to stimulus intensity as recorded by accelerometers cemented onto the animal's skull. The strongest and most consistent response component was intorsion of both eyes. In lateral-eyed animals intorsion is produced by the combined contraction of the inferior rectus and superior oblique muscles. In humans the same pair of muscles acts to cause depression of the eye. To test whether the movements were vestibular we selectively ablated the vestibular endorgans: 3 of the 8 animals underwent a bilateral intratympanic injection of gentamicin, an ototoxic aminoglycoside antibiotic, to ablate their vestibular receptors. After ablation there was an overall reduction in the magnitude of eye displacement, as well as a reduction in the effectiveness of the BCV stimulus to elicit eye movements. The animals' hearing, as measured by the threshold for auditory brainstem responses, remained unchanged after gentamicin, confirming that the cochlea was not affected. The reduced magnitude of responses after vestibular receptor ablation demonstrates that the eye-movement responses to BCV are probably caused by the stimulation of vestibular receptors, which in turn activate the vestibulo-ocular reflex.
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    ABSTRACT: Extracellular single neuron recordings of primary vestibular neurons in Scarpa's ganglion in guinea pigs show that low-intensity 500 Hz bone-conducted vibration (BCV) or 500 Hz air-conducted sound (ACS) activate a high proportion of otolith irregular neurons from the utricular and saccular maculae but few semicircular canal neurons. In alert guinea pigs, and humans, 500 Hz BCV elicits otolith-evoked eye movements. In humans, it also elicits a myogenic potential on tensed sternocleidomastoid muscles. Although BCV and ACS activate both utricular and saccular maculae, it is possible to probe the functional status of these two sense organs separately because of their differential neural projections. Saccular neurons have a strong projection to neck muscles and a weak projection to the oculomotor system. Utricular afferents have a strong projection to eye muscles. So measuring oculomotor responses to ACS and BCV predominantly probes utricular function, while measuring neck muscle responses to these stimuli predominantly probes saccular function.
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    ABSTRACT: Previous evidence shows that the n10 component of the ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potential indicates utricular function, while the p13 component of the cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential indicates saccular function. This study aimed to assess the possibility of differential utricular and saccular function testing in the clinic, and whether loss of saccular function affects utricular response. Following vibration conduction from the mid-forehead at the hairline, the ocular n10 component was recorded by surface electromyograph electrodes beneath both eyes, while the cervical p13-n23 component was recorded by surface electrodes over the tensed sternocleidomastoid muscles. Fifty-nine patients were diagnosed with probable inferior vestibular neuritis, as their cervical p13-n23 component was asymmetrical (i.e. reduced or absent on the ipsilesional side), while their ocular n10 component was symmetrical (i.e. normal beneath the contralesional eye). The sense organ responsible for the cervical and the ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials cannot be the same, as one response was normal while the other was not. Reduced or absent saccular function has no detectable effect on the ocular n10 component. On vibration stimulation, the ocular n10 component indicates utricular function and the cervical p13-n23 component indicates saccular function.
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