The rich sympathetic innervation to the cochlea suggests its potential control of cochlear blood flow and activity during noise exposure, as part of the general and local stress sympathetic reaction evoked by noise. In a previous study, superior cervical sympathectomy prior to sound exposure in guinea pigs in an awake state, resulted in reduced temporary threshold shift. The present study was conducted to explore whether this potential protection would also be manifested in conditions producing permanent threshold shift (PTS). Thirty-six guinea pigs, divided into four groups of nine guinea pigs each, were sound exposed for 2 h in an awake state. Eighteen guinea pigs underwent superior cervical sympathectomy prior to sound exposure. Auditory brainstem thresholds were recorded prior to sound exposure, and then at 24 h, 1 and 6 weeks post-exposure. Results indicated a reduced PTS at 122 dB sound pressure level (SPL) exposure, suggesting a protective effect of the sympathectomy. However, at 125 dB SPL exposure, the protective effect was reduced.
- Cochlear sympathetic innervation
- Permanent threshold shift
- Temporary threshold shift