Partial corrosion casting to assess cochlear vasculature in mouse models of presbycusis and CMV infection

Hear Res. 2016 Feb;332:95-103. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2015.11.010. Epub 2015 Dec 18.


Some forms of sensorineural hearing loss involve damage or degenerative changes to the stria vascularis and/or other vascular structures in the cochlea. In animal models, many methods for anatomical assessment of cochlear vasculature exist, each with advantages and limitations. One methodology, corrosion casting, has proved useful in some species, however in the mouse model this technique is difficult to achieve because digestion of non vascular tissue results in collapse of the delicate cast specimen. We have developed a partial corrosion cast method that allows visualization of vasculature along much of the cochlear length but maintains some structural integrity of the specimen. We provide a detailed step-by-step description of this novel technique. We give some illustrative examples of the use of the method in mouse models of presbycusis and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection.

Keywords: Age related hearing loss; Cochlear hearing loss; Organ of Corti; Scanning electron microscopy; Spiral ligament; Spiral limbus; Stria vascularis; Viral infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / pathology*
  • Cochlea / blood supply*
  • Cochlea / virology
  • Corrosion Casting / methods*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / complications*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / pathology*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / virology
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Presbycusis / pathology*