The effect of kanamycin on the cochlear sensory epithelium of albino guinea pig fetuses was studied histologically following the administration of 200 or 400 mg/kg body weight kanamycin sulfate to the pregnant mothers for 8 consecutive days at different stages of gestation. Surface view analysis of Corti's organ revealed slight damage following treatment in the middle trimester of gestation and marked damage due to treatment in the last trimester. The pattern of hair cell loss induced during and after the functional differentiation of the cochlea resembled the pattern of ototoxic lesions in the adult ear. The assumed mechanisms for induction of teratogenesis by kanamycin in the fetal organ of Corti are discussed.
- Guinea pig