2nd generation adenovirus [E1 - , E3 - , pol - ] is able to transfect cochlear and vestibular cultures with no loss of stereocilia bundle integrity nor loss of transduction channel efficacy when tested as long as 2 weeks post viral transfection.
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In this experiment, the first group ('Control') was not exposed to AAE, and remained in the animal housing facility until testing. The second group ('Regular AAE') was exposed starting just after birth, before the onset of hearing around P10, and continued to be exposed through the test date.
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The sensory epithelium of the inner ear (organ of Corti) contains one row of inner hair cells (IHCs), three rows of outer hair cells (OHCs), a single auditory nerve afferent contacting an IHC, a representative efferent fiber from the medial olivocochlear (MOC) system, contacting all three rows of OHCs, and an efferent fiber from the lateral olivocochlear (LOC) system contacting the peripheral terminal of an auditory nerve fiber.
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Subjects performed a Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) with speech signals and a Music in Noise Test (MINT) with musical phrases. Interestingly, musical phrases could be discerned at a lower signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio than speech signals. Subjects with higher MAP scores (35-40) performed better on both the HINT and MINT tests than those with lower musical aptitude.
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Each type-1 afferent contacts an inner hair cell (IHC) via a terminal apposed to a synaptic ribbon. Terminals can be stained with anti-neurofilament and ribbons with anti-CtBP2 thus allowing counts of afferent synapses.
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