Background: Exposure to continuous and impulse noise can induce a hearing loss. Leupeptin is an inhibitor of the calpains, a family of calcium-activated proteases which promote cell death. The objective of this study is to assess whether Leupeptin could reduce the hearing loss resulting from rifle impulse noise. Methods. A polyethelene tube was implanted into middle ear cavities of eight fat sand rats (16 ears). Following determination of auditory nerve brainstem evoked response (ABR) threshold in each ear, the animals were exposed to the noise of 10 M16 rifle shots. Immediately after the exposure, saline was then applied to one (control) ear and non-toxic concentrations of leupeptin determined in the first phase of the study were applied to the other ear, for four consecutive days. Results: Eight days after the exposure, the threshold shift (ABR) in the control ears was significantly greater (44 dB) than in the leupeptin ears (27 dB). Conclusion: Leupeptin applied to the middle ear cavity can reduce the hearing loss resulting from exposure to impulse noise.
- threshold shift