Effects of exposing gonadectomized and intact C57BL/6J mice to a high-frequency augmented acoustic environment: Auditory brainstem response thresholds and cytocochleograms.

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Analysis-of-Variance, Animals, Auditory-Threshold, Cochlea, Evoked-Potentials-Auditory-Brain-Stem, Female, Male, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Noise, Orchiectomy, Ovariectomy, Sex-Characteristics

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Hear Res 2006 Nov; 221(1-2):73-81.


Gonadectomized and surgically intact adult C57BL/6J (B6) mice of both sexes were exposed for 12h nightly to a high-frequency augmented acoustic environment (AAE): repetitive bursts of a half-octave noise band centered at 20 kHz, 70 dB SPL. The effects of sex, gonadectomy, and AAE treatment on genetic progressive hearing loss (exhibited by B6 mice) were evaluated by obtaining auditory brainstem response thresholds at ages 3-, 6-, and 9-months; hair cell counts (cytocochleograms) were obtained at 9 months. A sex difference in the rate of genetic progressive hearing loss in B6 mice (observed by earlier studies) was confirmed, with females exhibiting a faster rate of threshold elevations and more severe loss of hair cells at age 9 months. Gonadectomy had no consistent effects on the rate or severity of hearing loss in non-exposed mice of either sex. An unexpected finding was that the high-frequency AAE treatment caused additional ABR threshold elevations and hair cell loss. In an earlier study, the same high-frequency AAE treatment on DBA/2J mice ameliorated hearing loss. The most severe AAE-induced losses occurred in surgically intact females, suggesting a potentiating effect of ovarian hormone(s).