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PLoS One. 2015 Feb 19;10(2):e0117228. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117228. eCollection 2015.

Alterations in peripheral and central components of the auditory brainstem response: a neural assay of tinnitus.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, United States of America; Global Center for Hearing & Speech Research, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, United States of America.
2
Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, United States of America; Department of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, United States of America; Global Center for Hearing & Speech Research, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, United States of America.

Abstract

Chronic tinnitus, or "ringing of the ears", affects upwards of 15% of the adult population. Identifying a cost-effective and objective measure of tinnitus is needed due to legal concerns and disability issues, as well as for facilitating the effort to assess neural biomarkers. We developed a modified gap-in-noise (GIN) paradigm to assess tinnitus in mice using the auditory brainstem response (ABR). We then compared the commonly used acoustic startle reflex gap-prepulse inhibition (gap-PPI) and the ABR GIN paradigm in young adult CBA/CaJ mice before and after administrating sodium salicylate (SS), which is known to reliably induce a 16 kHz tinnitus percept in rodents. Post-SS, gap-PPI was significantly reduced at 12 and 16 kHz, consistent with previous studies demonstrating a tinnitus-induced gap-PPI reduction in this frequency range. ABR audiograms indicated thresholds were significantly elevated post-SS, also consistent with previous studies. There was a significant increase in the peak 2 (P2) to peak 1 (P1) and peak 4 (P4) to P1 amplitude ratios in the mid-frequency range, along with decreased latency of P4 at higher intensities. For the ABR GIN, peak amplitudes of the response to the second noise burst were calculated as a percentage of the first noise burst response amplitudes to quantify neural gap processing. A significant decrease in this ratio (i.e. recovery) was seen only at 16 kHz for P1, indicating the presence of tinnitus near this frequency. Thus, this study demonstrates that GIN ABRs can be used as an efficient, non-invasive, and objective method of identifying the approximate pitch and presence of tinnitus in a mouse model. This technique has the potential for application in human subjects and also indicates significant, albeit different, deficits in temporal processing in peripheral and brainstem circuits following drug induced tinnitus.

PMID:
25695496
PMCID:
PMC4335042
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0117228
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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