Table_1_Salicylate-Induced Changes in Hearing Thresholds in Mongolian Gerbils Are Correlated With Tinnitus Frequency but Not With Tinnitus Strength.DOCX
Tinnitus is an auditory phantom percept without external sound sources. Despite the high prevalence and tinnitus-associated distress of affected patients, the pathophysiology of tinnitus remains largely unknown, making prevention and treatments difficult to develop. In order to elucidate the pathophysiology of tinnitus, animal models are used where tinnitus is induced either permanently by noise trauma or transiently by the application of salicylate. In a model of trauma-induced tinnitus, we have suggested a central origin of tinnitus-related development of neuronal hyperactivity based on stochastic resonance (SR). SR refers to the physiological phenomenon that weak subthreshold signals for given sensors (or synapses) can still be detected and transmitted if appropriate noise is added to the input of the sensor. The main objective of this study was to characterize the neurophysiological and behavioral effects during salicylate-induced tinnitus and compare these to the conditions within the trauma model. Our data show, in line with the pharmacokinetics, that hearing thresholds generally increase 2 h after salicylate injections. This increase was significantly stronger within the region of best hearing compared to other frequencies. Furthermore, animals showed behavioral signs of tinnitus during that time window and frequency range as assessed by gap prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex (GPIAS). In contrast to animals with noise trauma-induced tinnitus, salicylate-induced tinnitus animals showed no correlation between hearing thresholds and behavioral signs of tinnitus, indicating that the development of tinnitus after salicylate injection is not based on SR as proposed for the trauma model. In other words, salicylate-induced tinnitus and noise trauma-induced tinnitus are not based on the same neurophysiological mechanism.