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Hear Res. 1979 Dec;1(4):325-42.

Effects of exposure to noise on ion movement in guinea pig cochlea.


Healthy guinea pigs were exposed to broad band noise at levels between 95 and 115 dBA for 7 days. A significant decrease of the sound-induced cochlear responses, together with a substantial increase of the endocochlear potential, was observed in guinea pigs exposed to noise at 105 or 115 dBA. Microsamples of the endolymph obtained from these guinea pigs showed a significant increase of K+ and Cl- concentrations and a decrease of Na+ concentration, when compared with those from control animals. The K+, Na+ and Cl- concentrations in the perilymph were not markedly affected by noise exposure. When the perilymphatic space was perfused with artificial perilymph containing 43K, 22Na or 36 Cl, the uptake of radiotracers into the endolymph showed a single exponential function of the perfusion time. When compared with rate constants in normal animals, the value of rate constant for K+ was significantly decreased in animals exposed to noise. These results indicate that ionic permeability changes of the endolymph-perilymph barrier are a significant factor in the physiological mechanisms underlying noise-induced hearing loss.

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