Circadian integration of inflammation and glucocorticoid actions: Implications for the cochlea

Hear Res. 2019 Jun:377:53-60. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2019.03.007. Epub 2019 Mar 15.


Auditory function has been shown to be influenced by the circadian system. Increasing evidence point towards the regulation of inflammation and glucocorticoid actions by circadian rhythms in the cochlea. Yet, how these three systems (circadian, immune and endocrine) converge to control auditory function remains to be established. Here we review the knowledge on immune and glucocorticoid actions, and how they interact with the circadian and the auditory system, with a particular emphasis on cochlear responses to noise trauma. We propose a multimodal approach to understand the mechanisms of noise-induced hearing loss by integrating the circadian, immune and endocrine systems into the bearings of the cochlea. Considering the well-established positive impact of chronotherapeutic approaches in the treatment of cardiovascular, asthma and cancer, an increased knowledge on the mechanisms where circadian, immune and glucocorticoids meet in the cochlea may improve current treatments against hearing disorders.

Keywords: Circadian; Cochlea; Glucocorticoids; Hearing loss; Immune system; Inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Cochlea / drug effects*
  • Cochlea / immunology
  • Cochlea / metabolism
  • Cochlea / physiopathology
  • Drug Chronotherapy*
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage*
  • Hearing / drug effects*
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / drug therapy*
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / immunology
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / metabolism
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Noise / adverse effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Inflammation Mediators