Maternal high-decibel acoustic exposure elevates prenatal stress, impairing postnatal hearing thresholds associated with decreasing ribbon synapses in young rats.


Department of Orthopaedics, First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, No.222 Zhongshan Road, Xigang District, Dalian, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Maternal stress may affect the fetal auditory system than direct sound exposure. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of prenatal stress due to high-decibel (dB) sound exposure on postnatal hearing and cochlear structure. Pregnant rats were exposed to 95 or 65 dB noise or music for 2 h once a day from gestational day 15 until delivery. The serum corticosterone was measured in the pregnant dams and pups. On postnatal day 22, pups underwent auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing. Then, the cochleae were immediately harvested for biochemical and molecular investigations. Prenatal stress impaired reproductive parameters, increased serum corticosterone and ABR thresholds with the decrease in wave I peak amplitude and the number of pre-synaptic ribbon. Thus, prenatal stress induces postnatal hearing loss in young rats, which are related to the reduction of ribbon synapses.


High-decibel,Prenatal stress,Ribbon synapse,

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