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Brain Res. 2000 Sep 29;878(1-2):163-73.

Intense noise induces formation of vasoactive lipid peroxidation products in the cochlea.

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Kresge Hearing Research Institute, The University of Michigan, 1301 East Ann Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0506, USA.


This study investigates the correlation between the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and auditory damage in noise-induced hearing loss. The noise exposure (4-kHz octave band, 115 dB SPL, 5 h) created permanent threshold shifts at frequencies from 2 to 20 kHz. The lipid peroxidation product, 8-isoprostane, was determined biochemically and histochemically as an indicator of ROS. Noise exposure increased 8-isoprostane levels in the cochlea in a time-dependent manner. After 5 h of exposure, 8-isoprostane levels were more than 30-fold greater than baseline, and decreased rapidly after the termination of noise. The immunoreactivity to 8-isoprostane was increased in the stria vascularis, spiral ganglion cells and the organ of Corti. In the organ of Corti, immunostaining was restricted to the second turn in a region 10-12 mm from the apex. This region sustained most of the permanent hair cell damage as revealed in surface preparations. Outer hair cells were more heavily immunostained than inner hair cells while Hensen's cells showed still less immunostain. These data are consistent with the view that ROS are involved in noise-induced damage. However, the relationship between ROS formation and tissue damage appears complex. In the organ of Corti, the pattern of noise-induced lipid peroxidation correlates well with subsequent morphological damage. The stria vascularis, however, does not sustain permanent damage despite intense lipid peroxidation. Differences in endogenous antioxidant levels and commitment to different apoptotic or survival pathways may underlie such differential responses.

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