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Neuroreport. 2006 Jun 26;17(9):857-61.

Protective properties of idebenone in noise-induced hearing loss in the guinea pig.

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  • 1Institute of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.


Idebenone is a synthetic analogue of coenzyme Q10 with antioxidant properties. The present study investigated the antioxidant activity of idebenone in the rescue of acoustic trauma. Noise-induced hearing loss was induced by exposing guinea pigs to a continuous pure tone and idebenone was injected intraperitoneally 1 h before noise exposure and once daily for 3 days. Guinea pigs treated with idebenone showed significantly smaller auditory threshold shifts than unprotected control animals. Missing and apoptotic cells were identified with scanning electron microscopy and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labelling assay. Protected animals presented a lesser extent of both apoptotic activation and hair cell loss in the organ of Corti. Our results suggest an antioxidant function of idebenone in protection from noise-induced hearing loss and provide a rationale for exploring therapeutic strategies in humans.

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