N-Acetyl L-Cysteine does not protect mouse ears from the effects of noise*
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N-Acetyl L-Cysteine does not protect mouse ears from the effects of noise*

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  • Alternative Title:
    J Occup Med Toxicol
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    Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is one of the most common occupational injuries in the United States. It would be extremely valuable if a safe, inexpensive compound could be identified which protects worker hearing from noise. In a series of experiments, Kopke has shown that the compound N-acetyl-L-cysteine (L-NAC) can protect the hearing of chinchillas from the effects of a single exposure to noise. L-NAC is used in clinical medicine and is very safe. Although L-NAC was reported to be promising, it has not been successful in other studies (Kramer et al., 2006; Hamernik et al., 2008). The present study was undertaken to determine if L-NAC could protect C57BL/6J (B6) mice from the permanent effects of noise.


    Two groups of five B6 mice were injected with either 300 or 600 mg/kg L-NAC approximately 1 hr prior to a 104 dB broadband noise exposure and again immediately after the exposure. A control group (N = 7) was exposed to the same noise level but injected with vehicle (sterile saline). Auditory brainstem response measurements were made at 4, 8, 16 and 32 kHz one week prior to and 12 days after exposure.


    There were no statistically significant differences in ABR threshold shifts between the mice receiving L-NAC and the control mice. This indicates that L-NAC was not effective in preventing permanent threshold shift in this mouse model of NIHL.

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