Modulation of miR-34a/SIRT1 signaling protects cochlear hair cells against oxidative stress and delays age-related hearing loss through coordinated regulation of mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis.


Department of Otolaryngology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China; Institute of Hearing and Speech-Language Science, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis are 2 pathways that regulate mitochondrial content and metabolism maintaining cellular homeostasis. The imbalance between these opposing processes impairs mitochondrial function and is suggested to be the pathophysiological basis of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases and aging. Here we investigated the role of mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis in oxidative damage to the cochlear hair cells and age-related hearing loss. In cultured mouse House Ear Institute-Organ of Corti 1 hair cells, oxidative stress activated mitophagy but inhibited mitochondrial biogenesis and impaired mitochondrial function. Pharmacological inhibition of miR-34a/SIRT1 signaling enhanced mitophagy, mitochondrial biogenesis, and attenuated House Ear Institute-Organ of Corti 1 cell death induced by oxidative stress. In the cochlea of C57BL/6 mice, mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis were both upregulated during aging. Long-term supplementation with resveratrol, a SIRT1 activator, not only improved the balance between mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis but also significantly reduced age-related cochlear hair cell loss, spiral ganglion neuron loss, stria vascularis atrophy, and hearing threshold shifts in C57BL/6 mice. Moreover, SIRT1 overexpression or miR-34a deficiency both attenuated age-related cochlear hair cell loss and hearing loss in C57BL/6 mice. Our findings reveal that imbalance between mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis contributes to cochlea hair cell damage caused by oxidative stress and during aging. Coordinated regulation of these 2 processes by miR-34a/SIRT1 signaling might serve as a promising approach for the treatment of age-related cochlear degeneration and hearing loss.


Cochlea,Mitochondrial biogenesis,Mitophagy,Oxidative stress,Presbycusis,SIRT1,