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Neuroscience. 2007 Mar 16;145(2):715-26. Epub 2007 Feb 1.

Tinnitus behavior and hearing function correlate with the reciprocal expression patterns of BDNF and Arg3.1/arc in auditory neurons following acoustic trauma.

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1
University of Tübingen, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hearing Research Center Tübingen, Molecular Neurobiology, Elfriede-Aulhorn-Strasse 5, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

The molecular changes following sensory trauma and the subsequent response of the CNS are poorly understood. We focused on finding a molecular tool for monitoring the features of excitability which occur following acoustic trauma to the auditory system. Of particular interest are genes that alter their expression pattern during activity-induced changes in synaptic efficacy and plasticity. The expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), the activity-dependent cytoskeletal protein (Arg3.1/arc), and the immediate early gene c-Fos were monitored in the peripheral and central auditory system hours and days following a traumatic acoustic stimulus that induced not only hearing loss but also phantom auditory perception (tinnitus), as shown in rodent animal behavior models. A reciprocal responsiveness of activity-dependent genes became evident between the periphery and the primary auditory cortex (AI): as c-Fos and BDNF exon IV expression was increased in spiral ganglion neurons, Arg3.1/arc and (later on) BDNF exon IV expression was reduced in AI. In line with studies indicating increased spontaneous spike activity at the level of the inferior colliculus (IC), an increase in BDNF and GABA-positive neurons was seen in the IC. The data clearly indicate the usefulness of Arg3.1/arc and BDNF for monitoring trauma-induced activity changes and the associated putative plasticity responses in the auditory system.

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