Radiation-induced Cochlea Hair Cell Death: Mechanisms and Protection


Cochlea hair cell death is regarded to be responsible for the radiation-induced sensorineural hearing loss(SNHL), which is one of the principal complications of radiotherapy (RT) for head and neck cancers. In this minireview,we focus on the current progresses trying to unravel mechanisms of radiation-induced hair cell death andfind out possible protection. P53, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathwayshave been proposed as pivotal in the processes leading to radiation hair cell death. Potential protectants, suchas amifostine, N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and epicatechin (EC) , are claimed to be effective at reducing radiationinducedhaircell death. The RT dosage, selection and application of concurrent chemotherapy should be preexaminedin order to minimize the damage to cochlea hair cells.