OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to use the tree shrew as an otological model, not only to verify the location of the auditory pathway in tree shrews by fluoro-gold (FG) but also to elucidate the effects of the auditory brainstem response (ABR) before and after FG injection.
METHODS: FG was injected into the medial geniculate body (MGB) of experimental group (n=10).The normal group (n=10) was inserted the microsyringe, which was not perfused FG. Hearing was assessed by testing ABRs before and after the operation.
RESULTS: FG-labelled neurons were primarily distributed in the ipsilateral MGB, the ipsilateral and contralateral nuclei of the inferior colliculus (NIC), the superior olivary nucleus (SON), the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN), and the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN). The ABR after FG injection caused a significant decrease in the wave amplitudes at 24 h that recovered by 72 h. However, the wave I-VI interpeak latencies in the right ear were shortened at 0 and 24 h post-surgery, whereas after 48 h, the interpeak latencies were prolonged.
CONCLUSIONS: The FG retrograde tracing technique accurately displays the anatomical location of the auditory pathway in the tree shrew. The change in ABR waves suggested that there was a functional abnormality in the central auditory pathway after FG injection. The auditory thalamus may have self-regulating properties.