The hypoxia-inducible factor and vascular endothelial growth factor (HIF-VEGF) pathway in hypoxic conditions of the middle ear due to dysfunction of the eustachian tube is still unknown, but it is considered as one pathogenetic mechanism in otitis media. This study was designed to investigate the possible involvement of the HIF-VEFG pathway in otitis media with effusion induced by dysfunction of the eustachian tube. We adopted a soft palate approach to obstruct the orifice of the eustachian tube to establish otitis media in a rat model. Auditory evoked brainstem response and tympanometry were used as hearing function tests, hypoxia-related factors were examined by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The expression of hypoxia-related proteins was detected by Western blot and immunostaining. The model of otitis media with effusion was successfully induced by cauterizing the orifice of the eustachian tube. RT-PCR showed up-regulation of hypoxia-related factors in cauterized ears. Western blot and immunostaining showed that the expression of hypoxia-related proteins in cauterized ears was increased. Hypoxia-induced vascular proliferation and an increase in permeability may be one pathogenetic mechanism of otitis media due to dysfunction of the eustachian tube.
Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.