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Repeated Moderate Noise Exposure in the Rat-an Early Adulthood Noise Exposure Model

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  • Paula Mannström, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Mette Kirkegaard
  • Mats Ulfendahl, Karolinska Institutet

In this study, we investigated the effects of varying intensity levels of repeated moderate noise exposures on hearing. The aim was to define an appropriate intensity level that could be repeated several times without giving rise to a permanent hearing loss, and thus establish a model for early adulthood moderate noise exposure in rats. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to broadband noise for 90 min, with a 50 % duty cycle at levels of 101, 104, 107, or 110 dB sound pressure level (SPL), and compared to a control group of non-exposed animals. Exposure was repeated every 6 weeks for a maximum of six repetitions or until a permanent hearing loss was observed. Hearing was assessed by the auditory brainstem response (ABR). Rats exposed to the higher intensities of 107 and 110 dB SPL showed permanent threshold shifts following the first exposure, while rats exposed to 101 and 104 dB SPL could be exposed at least six times without a sustained change in hearing thresholds. ABR amplitudes decreased over time for all groups, including the non-exposed control group, while the latencies were unaffected. A possible change in noise susceptibility following the repeated moderate noise exposures was tested by subjecting the animals to high-intensity noise exposure of 110 dB for 4 h. Rats previously exposed repeatedly to 104 dB SPL were slightly more resistant to high-intensity noise exposure than non-exposed rats or rats exposed to 101 dB SPL. Repeated moderate exposure to 104 dB SPL broadband noise is a viable model for early adulthood noise exposure in rats and may be useful for the study of noise exposure on age-related hearing loss.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJ Assoc Res Otolaryngol
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

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