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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 80904, 11 pages
Research Article

Blockade of Cochlear NMDA Receptors Prevents Long-Term Tinnitus during a Brief Consolidation Window after Acoustic Trauma

1Department of Neurobiology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
2Molecular Endocrinology and Oncology Research Center, Laval University Medical Center (CHUL), Quebec City, QC G1V 4G2, Canada
3Faculty of Pharmacy, Laval University, Quebec City, QC G1K 7P4, Canada

Received 29 September 2007; Accepted 12 December 2007

Academic Editor: Zygmunt Galdzicki

Copyright © 2007 Matthieu J. Guitton, and Yadin Dudai. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tinnitus, the perception of sound in the absence of external acoustic stimulation, is a common and devastating pathology. It is often a consequence of acoustic trauma or drug toxicity. The neuronal mechanisms of tinnitus are neither yet fully understood nor are effective treatments available. Using a novel behavioral paradigm for measuring tinnitus in the rat based on tone-guided navigation, we show here that the development of long-term noise-induced tinnitus, the most prevalent and clinically important form of human tinnitus, can be abated by local administration of the NMDA antagonist “ifenprodil” into the cochlea in the first 4 days following the noise insult but not afterwards. This suggests that long-term tinnitus undergoes a consolidation-like process, resembling the ontogeny of items in long-term memory. Furthermore, this finding paves the way to potential therapeutic strategies for the prevention of chronic tinnitus once the noise insult had taken place.