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Effects of alpha-tocopherol on noise-induced hearing loss in guinea pigs



Effects of alpha-tocopherol on noise-induced hearing loss in guinea pigs



Hearing Research 179(1-2): 1-8



Preventing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) by antioxidants is based on the hypothesis that generation of reactive oxygen species is one of the causes of NIHL. alpha-Tocopherol is a naturally occurring antioxidant with no noticeable side effects. In this study, we attempted to protect guinea pigs from developing NIHL by administering alpha-tocopherol. Pigmented male guinea pigs were exposed to a noise (4 kHz octave band, 100 dB SPL), 8 h/day for 3 days consecutively. alpha-Tocopherol (10 mg/kg or 50 mg/kg daily) was given by intraperitoneal injection from 3 days before through 3 days after the noise exposure. Auditory evoked brainstem response (ABR) thresholds at 2, 4 and 8 kHz were recorded prior to the experiment, immediately post-noise, 2 and 8 days post-noise. On day 8 post-noise, after the ABR recording, guinea pigs were decapitated and the cochleae were removed for cochlear surface preparations and scanning electron microscope (SEM) study. ABR threshold shifts of groups receiving alpha-tocopherol were significantly smaller than those of groups not receiving alpha-tocopherol at all frequencies and all time points tested except that of group 3 at 8 kHz 8 days post-noise. No hair cell loss was seen on the surface preparations, but stereocilia loss was found by SEM study. The noise-induced stereocilia loss was significantly decreased by alpha-tocopherol. These results indicate that alpha-tocopherol can attenuate the noise-induced cochlear damage. Further investigations on the preventive effect of alpha-tocopherol on NIHL in noise-exposed workers are necessary.

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Accession: 010544998

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PMID: 12742233


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