Damage to the neuro-epithelium caused by the vestibulotoxic drugs has been well described in previous reports; however, little is known about the effect of such drugs on the otoconia. In this investigation, streptomycin sulfate was found to create a circumscribed defect in the crystalline layer of the otoconial membrane in the utricle of the guinea pig. The defect was secondary to a sharply outlined lesion of the neuroepithelium which corresponded in size and location to the otoconial defect. Many of the otoconia along the margin of the defect showed signs of degeneration and appeared similar to those observed in the saccule of man during aging. In advanced stages of decay, the otoconia were reduced to hollow shells consisting of longitudinal interconnecting strands. All the epithelial lesions occurred with remarkable consistency in the same region of the macula utriculi at the posterior end of the striola.
ASJC Scopus subject areas