1. Biophysical Mechanisms Underlying Hearing Loss Associated with a Shortened Tectorial Membrane

    Biophysical Mechanisms Underlying Hearing Loss Associated with a Shortened Tectorial Membrane

    The tectorial membrane (TM) connects to the stereociliary bundles of outer hair cells (OHCs). Herein, we summarize key experimental data and modeling analyses that describe how biophysical alterations to these connections underlie hearing loss. The heterozygous C1509G mutation in alpha tectorin produces partial congenital hearing loss that progresses in humans. We engineered this mutation in mice, and histology revealed that the TM was shortened. DIC imaging of freshly-dissected cochlea as well as imaging with optical coherence tomography indicated that the TM is malformed and only stimulates the first row of OHCs. Noise exposure produced acute threshold shifts that fully recovered ...

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