Appearance of free radicals in the guinea pig inner ear after noise-induced acoustic trauma


The emergence of superoxide anion radicals (O2-) in the guinea pig inner ear following acoustic trauma was investigated by histochemical methods. Five minutes after exposure to sound at 120–125 dB SPL for 3 h, an O2- reaction product was detected in the cochlea along the luminal membrane of the marginal cells of the stria vascularis. This reaction product could not be found at 30 min, but reappeared at 2 h. The first appearance of O2- is not explainable by our studies, but the second appearance may be related to recirculation of strial blood flow after blood flow stasis. The present observations raise the possibility that free radicals are produced in the inner ear after acoustic trauma and lead to inner ear damage.

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Correspondence to H. Yamane.

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Yamane, H., Nakai, Y., Takayama, M. et al. Appearance of free radicals in the guinea pig inner ear after noise-induced acoustic trauma. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 252, 504–508 (1995).

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Key words

  • Noise trauma
  • Superoxide anion radicals
  • Strial blood flow
  • Cochlear reperfusion injury