ARO 2020: Large Animal Models for Auditory Research: Guide to the Perplexed

Suchi Raghunathan, Randolph Abutin, Amanda McSweeney, Misty J. Williams-Fritze, Rami Tzafriri, Cyrille Sage. ‘Large Animal Models for Auditory Research: Guide to the Perplexed.’ Poster presentation at: ARO Midwinter Meeting, Jan 25-29, 2020, San Jose, CA.

Summary: Auditory studies, including those evaluating ototoxicity and pharmacokinetics (PK), are typically performed using rodent models. Some studies, however, may require a larger species with middle and inner ear anatomy more similar to humans. Currently, there is a paucity of literature describing procedural auditory techniques, including surgical approaches, and sensitive readout for auditory changes in large animal species. Our goal was to determine if large animal species, such as swine and sheep, could be reliably used for auditory studies. Here, we report successful procedures in large animal species, such as trans-tympanic injection, a surgical approach to reach the middle ear space, recording of acoustic Auditory Brainstem Response (aABR), histology and cochleogram processes Using a Storz endoscope for evaluating external auditory canal (EAC) anatomy down to the tympanic membrane (TM), we found that sheep are better suited for trans-tympanic injection with an EAC/TM closer to human architecture compared to swine (EAC and TM at 90 angle) (Figure 1).

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    Conclusion: We have developed the entire methodology needed for performing auditory studies in two new large species, sheep and swine, and characterized the specific advantages of each.