Effects of Trimethyltin and Noise on Auditory Function
Proctor, Brian D.
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General mechanisms of otoxicity have not yet been determined. Because of the similar recovery times of trimethyltin exposure and of noise exposure it was suspected that both insults followed a common pathway in damaging the auditory system. Male rats were exposed to a combination of trimethyltin (4mg/kg) and noise (102 db) and then examined behaviorally and histologically. The histological study showed permanent damage (phalangeal scars) in the middle and basal turns of the cochlea. The behavioral tests, based of the phenomenon of reflex modulation, showed the expected loss in subjects exposed to the trimethyltin alone of the noise alone. If a common pathway existed between trimethyltin and noise induced auditory damage, a more than additive effect would be seen when the two insults are given together. When a combination of trimethyltin and noise exposure was employed the subjects demonstrated at least an additive hearing loss. These results imply that the two insults do not follow a common mechanism but may actually damage two separate types of cells in the ear.