Increased vulnerability of auditory system to noise exposure in mdx mice

Tsan Ju Chen*, Shun Sheng Chen, Dean Chuan Wang, Yueh Ling Hsieh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objectives: Dystrophin is a cytoskeletal protein mainly found just beneath the sarcolemma. Lack of dystrophin is known to be the cause of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Other tissues, including the brain, retina, and cochlear hair cells, also express dystrophin. Recently, a gene (Xp21.2) associated with sensorineural hearing impairment has been mapped within the localization site for dystrophin in two families. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that dystrophin may play a role in auditory function. However, animal studies have produced conflicting results. Study Design: An attempt was made to clarify the differences between the auditory systems of dystrophin-deficient mdx mice and control B-10 mice by exposure to noise. Methods: In the present study, mdx mice and B-10 mice were used. Animals were exposed daily to noise for 1 month, and their auditory functions were evaluated by recording the brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs). Results: Before noise exposure, the mdx mouse demonstrated normal BAEP threshold when compared with the B-10 mouse. After 1 month of noise exposure, the B-10 mouse showed no apparent change in hearing threshold and BAEP latencies. In contrast, significantly increased hearing threshold and prolonged BAEP peak and interpeak latencies were observed in the mdx mouse after noise exposure. Conclusions: These results indicate that the mdx mice are more vulnerable to noise damage. This involves not only the peripheral auditory system, but also the brainstem central auditory pathway. Therefore, a significant role for dystrophin in the auditory system, especially under noise stress, is suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-525
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Auditory function
  • BAEP
  • Dystrophin
  • Noise


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