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Hear Res. 1995 Aug;88(1-2):19-26.

Sensorineural hearing loss alters recovery from short-term adaptation in the C57BL/6 mouse.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, NY 14642-8629, USA.


Several strains of laboratory mouse (Mus musculus) have a pattern of hearing loss which resembles that found in humans. The C57BL/6 strain of mouse has a genetic defect that results in degeneration of the organ of Corti, originating in the basal, high-frequency region and then proceeding apically over time. The end result is a severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) by 14 months of age. In contrast, auditory function of the CBA strain remains normal through its early life span then slowly declines later in life, much like that typified by human presbycusis. The purpose of the present study was to compare ABR (peak 5) forward masking recovery functions in young, normal-hearing CBA and C57BL/6 mice to hearing-impaired C57BL/6 mice. ABR audiograms were obtained prior to collecting the tone-on-tone forward masking data. Masking was defined as a 50% reduction in the P5 component of the ABR, elicited and masked by 12 kHz tone bursts, using masker/probe time delays from 0 to 100 ms. Time constants were computed from an exponential model fit to the recovery functions (masker level vs. time delay). In hearing-impaired animals there was a significant increase in recovery from short-term adaptation as measured by the time constants, as well as a significant latency shift in the P5 component. The effects of SNHL on the recovery of the P5 component from short-term adaptation was comparable to that reported behaviorally for human hearing-impaired listeners and physiologically from the inferior colliculus (IC) of chinchillas suffering permanent threshold shifts.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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