The purpose of the present study was to determine if short-term sound conditioning provides protection when delivered either before (forward sound conditioning) or after (backward sound conditioning) a traumatic exposure in the guinea pig. Two different sound conditioning paradigms were studied (1 kHz, 81 dB SPL, 24 h; 6.3 kHz, 78 dB SPL, 24 h). The 1-kHz forward sound conditioning paradigm (81 dB SPL, 24 h) protected distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) against a short-duration acoustic trauma (2.7 kHz, 103 dB SPL, 5 min) compared to the group exposed to the acoustic trauma alone. The 1-kHz forward sound conditioning paradigm (81 dB SPL, 24 h) also protected both the auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds and DPOAEs against a longer-duration acoustic trauma (2.7 kHz, 103 dB SPL, 30 min). The group exposed to the acoustic trauma alone showed ABR threshold shifts between 15 and 24 dB, and DPOAE amplitude shifts between 11 and 24 dB, while the group with 1-kHz forward sound conditioning showed statistically significant protection at all ABR frequencies and at all DPOAE frequencies. The 1-kHz backward sound conditioning paradigm protected against acoustic trauma (2.7 kHz, 103 dB SPL, 30 min). The ABR thresholds were protected at 1, 2 and 4 kHz, and DPOAEs at all frequencies (except 8 kHz) when compared to the group exposed only to the acoustic trauma. The 6.3-kHz forward sound conditioning paradigm protected against acoustic trauma (5.5 kHz, 109 dB SPL, 30 min) at 6.3, 8 and 10 kHz. The 6.3-kHz backward sound conditioning paradigm showed no protection against acoustic trauma at any DPOAE frequency. Taken together, these findings are important for understanding how the auditory system can be modulated by acoustic stimulation and highlights the importance of the acoustic environment during the recovery process of the auditory system.
Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel