Using the cochlear microphonic as a tool to evaluate cochlear function in mouse models of hearing

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48 Scopus citations


The cochlear microphonic (CM) can be a useful analytical tool, but many investigators may not be fully familiar with its unique properties to interpret it accurately in mouse models of hearing. The purpose of this report is to develop a model for generation of the CM in wild-type (WT) and prestin knockout mice. Data and modeling results indicate that in the majority of cases, the CM is a passive response, and in the absence of outer hair cell (OHC) damage, mice lacking amplification are expected to generate WT levels of CM for inputs less than ∼30 kHz. Hence, this cochlear potential is not a useful metric to estimate changes in amplifier gain. This modeling analysis may explain much of the paradoxical data in the literature. For example, various manipulations, including the application of salicylate and activation of the crossed olivocochlear bundle, reduce the compound action potential but increase or do not change the CM. Based on this current evaluation, CM measurements are consistent with early descriptions where this AC cochlear potential is dominated by basal OHCs, when recorded at the round window.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-125
Number of pages13
JournalJARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • cochlear amplifier
  • compound action potential
  • outer hair cells
  • prestin knockout mice
  • salicylate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems


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