Curcumin protects against acoustic trauma in the rat cochlea
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Objectives: In this study we evaluated the therapeutic utility of curcumin in a rodent model of acoustic trauma using histopathology, immunohistochemical, and distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAEs) measurements. Methods: 28 Wistar albino rats were included in the study and randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups. The first group (group 1) served as the control and was exposed to acoustic trauma alone. Group 2 was the curcumin group. Group 3 was the curcumin plus acoustic trauma group. Group 4 was the saline plus acoustic trauma group. Otoacoustic emission measurements were collected at the end of the experiment and all animals were sacrificed. Cochlea were collected and prepared for TUNEL (TdT-mediated deoxyuridinetriphosphate nick end-labelling) staining assay. Results: Group 3 maintained baseline DPOAEs values at 3000 Hz, 4000 Hz and 8000 Hz on the 3rd and 5th day of the experiment. DPOAEs results were correlated with the immunohistochemical and histopathological findings in all groups. In comparison to the histopathologic control group, Group 1 exhibited a statistically significant increase in apoptotic indices in the organ of Corti, inner hair cell, and outer hair cell areas (p < 0.05). Relative to the control group, rats in Group 3 showed little increase in inner hair cell and outer hair cell apoptotic indices. Conclusions: Our results support the conclusion that curcumin may protect the cochlear tissues from acoustic trauma in rats. Curcumin injection prior to or after an acoustic trauma reduces cochlear hair cell damage and may protect against hearing loss. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.