Prevention of hearing loss by oral administration of the flavonoid-enriched fraction AF4

Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds which give fruits and vegetables their bright colours. Habitual consumption of dietary flavonoids reduces the risk for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Pre-clinical studies performed using animal models for these disorders have convincingly demonstrated that flavonoids not only halt the pathological processes which cause neurodegeneration but also promote recovery after brain damage. These findings and the fact that flavonoids can be consumed safely even in large amounts suggest they be useful treatments for neurodegenerative disorders. With this in mind, we have isolated a flavonoid-enriched fraction from the peel of Nova Scotia apple called AF4. Oral administration of AF4 reduces inflammation, brain damage and motor deficits in mouse models for stroke and multiple sclerosis. The purpose of the present application is to determine whether AF4 also reduces the inflammatory and degenerative events responsible for noise- and cisplatin-induced hearing loss in mice. Hearing loss is a frequent complication of cisplatin therapy for cancer that may occur within the first few days of treatment. Demonstrating that AF4 prevents cisplatin-induced hearing loss in mice would therefore facilitate a clinical trial in cancer patients enabling rapid-proof-of-concept in humans for condition relevant to neurodegenerative disorders.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. George S. Robertson


Matt Nichols, David Aphkhazava & Jin Zhang


Scotia Biosciences


Pharmacy / Pharmacology




Dalhousie University



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