icon-oto-tox OtoTox

Drug-induced ototoxicity is provoked by widely-used antibiotics and chemotherapeutics. Interestingly, fish and mammalian hair cells are damaged by the same chemical and acoustic inputs (1,2), including aminoglycosides and platinum derivatives (3).This is explained by the high morphological and physiological homology between both celular structures. Thus, zebrafish is a clinically relevant model for predicting ototoxicity and understanding the mechanisms of toxicity of candidate molecules.

Figure. Zebrafish neuromasts organization.

Hair cells of the lateral line are identical to the inner ear’s but with the advantage that ototoxic compounds can be directly added to fish water. These observation make zebrafish a perfect model to study ototoxicity compounds (2).

Method description and readouts

Figure: Neuromast hair cell counting of larvae treated with different concentrations of cisplatin  and neomycin compared to negative control DMSO (a). Neuromast images (b)


  1. Monroe, J. D., G. Rajadinakaran and M. E. Smith (2015). Sensory hair cell death and regeneration in fishes. Front Cell Neurosci.
  2. Ton, C. and C. Parng (2005). The use of zebrafish for assessing ototoxic and otoprotective agents. Hear Res
  3. Harris, J. A., A. G. Cheng, L. L. Cunningham, G. MacDonald, D. W. Raible and E. W. Rubel 2003. Neomycin-induced hair cell death and rapid regeneration in the lateral line of zebrafish (Danio rerio). J Assoc Res Otolaryngol.