Current Otorhinolaryngology Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 24–31 | Cite as

Meniere’s Disease: Genetics and the Immune System

  • Marisa Flook
  • Jose A. Lopez EscamezEmail author
Otology (A Vambutas, Section Editor)


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review was to describe the ongoing research that supports that Meniere’s disease (MD) is a heterogeneous set of clinical disorders.

Recent Findings

Different clinical subgroups of patients have been identified, which may have different etiological factors. Genes associated to the initiation or progression of MD can be classified in four main categories: immune-associated, proliferation and cell survival, cell surface channels, and extracellular matrix proteins. Two major mechanisms have been involved in MD, the innate immune response involving proinflammatory cytokines and NF-κB-mediated inflammation, but the molecular events that initiate the disorder are not known. The challenge of the immune system by antigens or allergic reactions may involve several targets in the cochlea, such as the endolymphatic sac or the spiral ligament, leading to inflammation and finally endolymphatic hydrops.


Several clinical variants have been described, and genetic and immunological factors seem to play a central role in MD.


Meniere’s disease Autoimmune inner ear Vertigo Sensorineural hearing loss Genetics Interleukin-1-beta 



JALE is supported by Grants from Meniere’s Society, UK, PI17/01644 Grant from ISCIII by FEDER Funds from EU and H2020-MSCA-ITN-2016–722046 from EU.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they do not have any conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All reported studies with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional research committee standards, and international guidelines.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Otology & Neurotology Group CTS495, Department of Genomic Medicine Otology & Neurotology Group CTS495, Department of Genomic MedicineCentro de Genómica e Investigación Oncológica–Pfizer/Universidad de Granada/Junta de Andalucía (GENYO)GranadaSpain
  2. 2.Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB)University of LuxembourgEsch-sur-AlzetteLuxembourg
  3. 3.Department of Otolaryngology, Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria ibsHospital Universitario Virgen de las NievesGranadaSpain

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