Transcriptional response to mild therapeutic hypothermia in noise-induced cochlear injury

Front Neurosci. 2024 Jan 17:17:1296475. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2023.1296475. eCollection 2023.


Introduction: Prevention or treatment for acoustic injury has been met with many translational challenges, resulting in the absence of FDA-approved interventions. Localized hypothermia following noise exposure mitigates acute cochlear injury and may serve as a potential avenue for therapeutic approaches. However, the mechanisms by which hypothermia results in therapeutic improvements are poorly understood.

Methods: This study performs the transcriptomic analysis of cochleae from juvenile rats that experienced noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) followed by hypothermia or control normothermia treatment.

Results: Differential gene expression results from RNA sequencing at 24 h post-exposure to noise suggest that NIHL alone results in increased inflammatory and immune defense responses, involving complement activation and cytokine-mediated signaling. Hypothermia treatment post-noise, in turn, may mitigate the acute inflammatory response.

Discussion: This study provides a framework for future research to optimize hypothermic intervention for ameliorating hearing loss and suggests additional pathways that could be targeted for NIHL therapeutic intervention.

Keywords: cytokines; hair cells; hidden hearing loss; inflammation; mechanisms; noise-induced hearing loss; therapeutic hypothermia; transcriptional.