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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2015;78(18):1154-69. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2015.1070389. Epub 2015 Sep 25.

Inhalation of Hydrocarbon Jet Fuel Suppress Central Auditory Nervous System Function.

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a Cell & Molecular Pathology Laboratory, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders , Northern Arizona University , Flagstaff , Arizona , USA.
b Research Service, Loma Linda Veterans Affairs Medical Center , Loma Linda , California , USA.
c Department of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery , School of Medicine, Loma Linda University Medical Center , Loma Linda , California , USA.
d Naval Medical Research Unit-Dayton , Wright-Patterson Air Force Base , Ohio , USA.
e Molecular Bioeffects Branch, Bioeffects Division, Human Effectiveness Directorate , Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright Patterson Air Force Base , Ohio , USA.


More than 800 million L/d of hydrocarbon fuels is used to power cars, boats, and jet airplanes. The weekly consumption of these fuels necessarily puts the public at risk for repeated inhalation exposure. Recent studies showed that exposure to hydrocarbon jet fuel produces lethality in presynaptic sensory cells, leading to hearing loss, especially in the presence of noise. However, the effects of hydrocarbon jet fuel on the central auditory nervous system (CANS) have not received much attention. It is important to investigate the effects of hydrocarbons on the CANS in order to complete current knowledge regarding the ototoxic profile of such exposures. The objective of the current study was to determine whether inhalation exposure to hydrocarbon jet fuel might affect the functions of the CANS. Male Fischer 344 rats were randomly divided into four groups (control, noise, fuel, and fuel + noise). The structural and functional integrity of presynaptic sensory cells was determined in each group. Neurotransmission in both peripheral and central auditory pathways was simultaneously evaluated in order to identify and differentiate between peripheral and central dysfunctions. There were no detectable effects on pre- and postsynaptic peripheral functions. However, the responsiveness of the brain was significantly depressed and neural transmission time was markedly delayed. The development of CANS dysfunctions in the general public and the military due to cumulative exposure to hydrocarbon fuels may represent a significant but currently unrecognized public health issue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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