In this study, age related Cav1.3 expression in cochlea and auditory cortex of C57BL/6J male mice was evaluated. It was found that the expression of Cav1.3 in cochlea decreased with aging whereas this phenomenon was not observed in neuron of auditory cortex. The correlation between decreased expression of Cav1.3 and age-related hearing losses was studied in vitro, after Cav1.3 was knocked out, the rate of apoptosis of hair cells increased after being subjected to ROS stresses, accompanied with enhanced senescence. Further, Cav1.3 knock down also interfered with the electrophysiology of hair cells. The effect was further confirmed in vivo, after Cav1.3 knocked down by injection of AAV, hearing impairment was observed in C57BL/6J male mice subjected to senescence and this was accompanied by increased loss of hair cells in cochlea. The effect was further confirmed in 3D organ culture, increased loss of hair cells after Cav1.3 was knocked down under ROS stresses.

Mechanistically, Cav1.3 knock out resulted in decreased intracellular calcium which subsequently reduced the inactivation of ROS from complex I, and finally resulted in increased intracellular ROS and enhanced senescence.

Collectively, these findings confirmed that Cav1.3 could protect cells in auditory pathway from oxidative stresses, and decreased expression of Cav1.3 in auditory pathway could contribute to hearing losses by enhancement of calcium-mediated oxidative stress.