A method for introducing non-silencing siRNA into the guinea pig cochlea in vivo.J Neurosci Methods. 2008 Jan 30; 167(2):237-45.JN
The aim of this preliminary study was to establish the methodology by which siRNA can be introduced into the adult guinea pig cochlea in vivo whilst preserving auditory function with a view to using targeted siRNAs to knockdown genes essential for auditory transduction. Initially a fluorescently tagged non-silencing siRNA complexed with a lipid-based transfection reagent was introduced into the perilymphatic compartment of the cochlea. Although auditory function was fully preserved, siRNA uptake was only observed in cells lining the perilymphatic space that are not critically involved in auditory transduction and therefore of little interest. Another approach was therefore adopted, in which siRNA was introduced directly into the scala media (endolymphatic compartment) of the apical (fourth) cochlear turn by slow pressure injection. During endolymphatic perfusion, the endocochlear potential (EP) and compound action potential (CAP) thresholds for basal turn frequencies from 6 to 20 kHz could be preserved, while CAP thresholds for 1-4 kHz were often elevated by 10-20 dB. CAP thresholds and EP were preserved 24 and 48 h after perfusion in some animals but reduced in others. siRNA uptake was observed predominantly in marginal and intermediate cells of the stria vascularis in all cochlear turns but not in cells of the organ of Corti.