After i.v. injection of 50 mg/kg ethacrynic acid (EA), potassium concentration in the endolymph (Ke+) measured with K+-specific microelectrodes decreases by 10 mM at the most and endocochlear potential falls to negative values. Potassium concentration in the perilymph (Kp+) generally does not change, but sometimes a transient decrease in Kp+ level of about 0.5 mM was observed, presumably due to the electrogenic effect of the time-related decrease of the endocochlear potential. When anoxia is induced approximately 120 min after EA administration, Ke+ slowly decreases. The decrease in Ke+ 50 min after the arrest of ventilation is smaller when compared with the Ke+ anoxic decrease without preceding EA administration. The endocochlear potential, which falls to negative values during anoxia after EA administration, does not return to the zero level as in the case when only anoxia is applied. Similarly, during anoxia, which follows EA administration, the perilymphatic Ke+ concentration increases more slowly than in the case when only anoxia is introduced. It is assumed from the results that EA abolishes activity of the positive electrogenic K+ pump and reduces the passive permeability of the walls of the cochlear duct to the potassium ions. © 1978.
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