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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2011, Article ID 937861, 19 pages
Review Article

Mechanisms of Aminoglycoside Ototoxicity and Targets of Hair Cell Protection

1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, 801 Welch Road, Stanford, CA 94305-5739, USA
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Inselspital, University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
3Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Received 2 June 2011; Accepted 18 August 2011

Academic Editor: Jeffrey P. Pearson

Copyright © 2011 M. E. Huth et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aminoglycosides are commonly prescribed antibiotics with deleterious side effects to the inner ear. Due to their popular application as a result of their potent antimicrobial activities, many efforts have been undertaken to prevent aminoglycoside ototoxicity. Over the years, understanding of the antimicrobial as well as ototoxic mechanisms of aminoglycosides has increased. These mechanisms are reviewed in regard to established and potential future targets of hair cell protection.