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Noise Health. 2003 Jul-Sep;5(20):1-17.

Pathways for protection from noise induced hearing loss.

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KHRI, University of Michigan, 1301 East Ann, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0506, USA.


There is increasing evidence that at least one function of both the medial and the lateral olivocochlear efferent systems is to provide adjustment of the set point of activity in their postsynaptic target, the outer hair cells and afferent processes, respectively. New results, summarized in this review, suggest that both efferent systems can provide protection from noise through this mechanism. There are also intracellular pathways that can provide protection from noise-induced cellular damage in the cochlea. This review also summarizes new results on the pathways that regulate and react to levels of reactive oxygen species in the cochlea as well as the role of stress pathways for the heat shock proteins and for neurotrophic factors in protection, recovery and repair.

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