Transduction of sound is metabolically demanding, and the normal function of the microvasculature in the lateral wall is critical for maintaining endocochlear potential, ion transport, and fluid balance. Different forms of hearing disorders are reported to involve abnormal microcirculation in the cochlea. Investigation of how cochlear blood flow (CoBF) pathology affects hearing function is challenging due to the lack of feasible interrogation methods and the difficulty in accessing the inner ear. An open vessel-window in the lateral cochlear wall, combined with fluorescence intravital microscopy, has been used for studying CoBF changes in vivo, but mostly in guinea pig and only recently in the mouse. This paper and the associated video describe the open vessel-window method for visualizing blood flow in the mouse cochlea. Details include 1) preparation of the fluorescent-labeled blood cell suspension from mice; 2) construction of an open vessel-window for intravital microscopy in an anesthetized mouse, and 3) measurement of blood flow velocity and volume using an offline recording of the imaging. The method is presented in video format to show how to use the open window approach in mouse to investigate structural and functional changes in the cochlear microcirculation under normal and pathological conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)