Scanning Microscopy


Endotoxin of E coli was microperfused into scala tympani or injected into the cerebrospinal fluid in anaesthetised pigmented guinea pigs. The effects of endotoxin on the cochlea were studied using electrophysiological techniques and scanning electron microscopy. We found a drop in the amplitude of the cochlear microphonics and compound action potentials 2 to 2.5 hours after injection. There were also changes in the morphology of stereocilia and the tectorial membrane. The stereocilia lost their rigidity and the tectorial membrane appeared swollen. These effects were less severe in animals which were pretreated with dexamethasone.

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