Unilateral horizontal semicircular canal occlusion induces serotonin increase in medial vestibular nuclei: a study using microdialysis in vivo coupled with HPLC–ECD
Unilateral single semicircular canal occlusion (USSCO) is an effective treatment for some cases of intractable vertigo. All patients suffer behavioural imbalance caused by surgery, and then recover with a resumption of vestibular function. However, the compensation mechanism has not been fully evaluated. Findings suggest that serotonin (5-HT) is released from nerve terminals, and plays a vital role in the plasticity of the central nervous system. In this study, we performed surgery of unilateral single semicircular canal occlusion (USSCO) on guinea pigs, and investigated the change of 5-HT by in vivo microdialysis of the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography and electrochemical detection (HPLC–ECD). A total of 12 guinea pigs were divided randomly into two groups, namely the USSCO group and the control group. Animals in the USSCO group underwent surgery of lateral horizontal semicircular canal occlusion, and those in the control group experienced the same operation but just to expose the horizontal semicircular canal without occlusion. Vestibular disturbance symptoms were observed in the case of the USSCO group, e.g. head tilting, and forced circular movements and spontaneous nystagmus at postoperative days 1 and 3. The basal level of 5-HT was determined to be 316.78 ± 16.62 nM. It elevated to 448.85 ± 24.56 nM at one day following occlusion (P = 0.001). The increase was completely abolished with the vestibular dysfunction recovery. The results showed that unilateral horizontal semicircular canal occlusion could increase the 5-HT level in MVN. 5-HT may play a significant role in the process of central vestibular compensation with residual vestibular function.
- This article is part of the themed collection: In vivo analysis