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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2018, Article ID 9828070, 7 pages
Research Article

Acoustic Trauma Changes the Parvalbumin-Positive Neurons in Rat Auditory Cortex

1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Anhui Medical University Affiliated Anhui Provincial Hospital, Hefei 230001, China
2Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230001, China
3Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Lu’an People’s Hospital, Lu’an Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Lu’an 237000, China
4Auditory Research Laboratory, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230027, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Bin Luo; moc.liamxof@yksniboul and Jingwu Sun; moc.liamtoh@uwgnijnustne

Received 26 May 2017; Revised 3 October 2017; Accepted 26 November 2017; Published 8 February 2018

Academic Editor: Andrea Turolla

Copyright © 2018 Congli Liu et al. 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.


Acoustic trauma is being reported to damage the auditory periphery and central system, and the compromised cortical inhibition is involved in auditory disorders, such as hyperacusis and tinnitus. Parvalbumin-containing neurons (PV neurons), a subset of GABAergic neurons, greatly shape and synchronize neural network activities. However, the change of PV neurons following acoustic trauma remains to be elucidated. The present study investigated how auditory cortical PV neurons change following unilateral 1 hour noise exposure (left ear, one octave band noise centered at 16 kHz, 116 dB SPL). Noise exposure elevated the auditory brainstem response threshold of the exposed ear when examined 7 days later. More detectable PV neurons were observed in both sides of the auditory cortex of noise-exposed rats when compared to control. The detectable PV neurons of the left auditory cortex (ipsilateral to the exposed ear) to noise exposure outnumbered those of the right auditory cortex (contralateral to the exposed ear). Quantification of Western blotted bands revealed higher expression level of PV protein in the left cortex. These findings of more active PV neurons in noise-exposed rats suggested that a compensatory mechanism might be initiated to maintain a stable state of the brain.