Ondansetron reduces lasting vestibular deficits in a model of severe peripheral excitotoxic injury

J Vestib Res. 2013;23(3):177-86. doi: 10.3233/VES-130483.


Vestibular neuritis is a neuroinflammatory, peripheral vestibular pathology leading to chronic deficits and long-term disability. While current corticosteroid-based therapy does not appear to positively influence the long term outcome for the patient, a recent clinical pilot study suggested a functional vestibuloprotective effect of the anti-emetic ondansetron in the treatment of vestibular neuritis. We here demonstrate that systemic post-insult administration of ondansetron in a novel rat model of severe excitotoxic vestibular insult reproduces the clinically demonstrated functional benefits. This ondansetron-conferred reduction of functional deficits stems from the protection of synapses between sensory hair cells and primary neurons from excitotoxically induced lesion.

Keywords: Vestibule; excitoxicity; functional deficit; neuritis; nystagmus; ondansetron; vertigo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Kainic Acid / toxicity
  • Models, Animal
  • Ondansetron / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Vestibular Neuronitis / drug therapy*
  • Vestibular Neuronitis / physiopathology


  • Ondansetron
  • Kainic Acid