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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 25  |  Page : 1--10

Critical period for styrene ototoxicity in the rat

Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité‚ Vandoeuvre, France

Correspondence Address:
P Campo
Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité‚ Avenue de Bourgogne, BP 27, 54501, Vandoeuvre
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 15703144

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The current experiments were undertaken to determine whether or not styrene-induced hearing loss in the rat depends more on the existence of a critical period between 14 and 21 weeks of age than on body weight. For these purposes, two experiments were carried out with mature Long-Evans rats. In the first experiment, two groups of 5-month old rats, but having different body weight (slim: 314 g vs. fat: 415 g) were exposed to 700 ppm styrene for 4 consecutive weeks, 5 days per week, 6 hours per day. In the second experiment, two groups of rats having the same weight: 345 g, but different ages (14- vs. 21- week old) were exposed to styrene in strictly identical experimental conditions. Auditory sensitivity was tested by recording evoked potentials from the inferior colliculus. Surface preparations of the organ of Corti were also performed to complete the investigation. At the end of the six week recovery period following the styrene exposure, a 7 dB permanent threshold shift (PTS) was obtained with the same age animals regardless of the body weight. Consequently, weight was not a major factor in styrene-induced hearing loss. Age was a more critical factor in determining higher sensitivity to styrene. Indeed, the three months old group had 23.5 dB PTS, whereas the five months old group had only a 7.7 dB PTS at 16 kHz. Thus, a 15 dB difference of PTS was obtained between the rats having the same weight but different age. While the weight does not play a major role in styrene ototoxicity, there is a critical period whose duration lasts more than three months and for which the susceptibility to styrene is enhanced.


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