Pictured: 3D reconstruction of cochlear scales (endolymph: red, perilymph: blue) and cochlea-associated bone marrow (magenta) in rat temporal bone (gray, semitransparent).
Our group studies neuroimmune interactions in the auditory system under normal and pathological conditions. Using tissue clarification methods in intact brain and temporal bone preparations from animal models [Perin et al. 2019], we observed the presence of surface links between the choroid plexus and the cochlear nuclei [Perin et al. 2021], at the level of which macrophages accumulate after cochlear damage [Perin et al. 2017], localized in a position consistent with their transmission modulation in the molecular layer of the dorsal cochlear nucleus, whose structure is similar to that of the cerebellar cortex. Because the dorsal cochlear nucleus appears to be involved in the onset of tinnitus [Wu et al. 2016], we are studying the effects of choroid plexus interactions in a mouse model of tinnitus.
In parallel with the studies on cochlear nuclei, using the same tissue clarification approach, we are reconstructing the microvascular network of the temporal bone to observe the distribution of immune system cells from the local bone marrow [Perin et al. 2022]. Indeed, the structural complexity of this bone has so far precluded a detailed microvascular analysis of it, and the importance of this analysis is exacerbated by the recent observation of intact parietal bone, in which the bone marrow provides cells that mature locally and remain spatially and functionally associated with the meninges, contributing predominantly to neuroimmune interactions [Cugurra et al. 2021].