Although previous studies have shown that prostaglandins (PGs), leukotrienes (LTs), and other arachidonic acid (AA) metabolites play an important role in the pathogenesis of otitis media with effusion (OME), the exact role of each AA metabolite in OME is still unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of several individual AA metabolites alone or in combination and AA itself on experimental otitis media in chinchillas. Normal chinchillas were inoculated daily with normal saline PGE2, LTC4 + PGE2, and AA through the superior bullae over 7 days. Animals were followed by otoscopy and tympanometry, samples of middle ear effusion were collected for biochemical assay, and temporal bones were processed for histopathology. The highest number of ears that developed OME was in the group inoculated with PGE2 + LTC4. The degree of inflammatory change was more pronounced in groups injected with LTC4 that any other group. The findings of this study suggest that eicosanoids PGE2, LTC4, and AA alone or in combination inoculated into the middle ear can induce OME.
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