4 years ago

Vestibular short latency evoked potential (VsEP) is abolished by low frequency noise exposure in rats.

Courtney Elaine Stewart, Richard A Altschuler, W Michael King, Ariane C Kanicki
The vestibular system plays a critical role in detection of head movements and is essential for normal postural control. Because of their anatomical proximity to the cochlea, the otolith organs are selectively exposed to sound pressure and are at risk for noise overstimulation. Clinical reports suggest a link between noise exposure and balance problems, but the structural and physiological basis for this linkage is not well understood. The goal of this study is to determine the effects of low frequency noise (LFN), on the otolith organs by correlating changes in vestibular short latency evoked potentials, (VsEPs), with changes in saccular afferent endings following noise exposure. LFN exposure transiently abolished the VsEP and reduced the number of stained calyces within the sacculus. Although some recovery of the VsEP waveform could be observed within three days post-noise, at three weeks, recovery was only partial in most animals, consistent with a reduced number of afferents with calyceal endings. These data show that a single intense noise exposure is capable of causing a vestibular deficit that appears to mirror the synaptic deficit associated with hidden hearing loss after noise-induced cochlear injury.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00668.2017

DOI: 10.1152/jn.00668.2017

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