The proposed research investigates the role of the efferent system in protecting the eight nerve. Noise, ischemia, and excitatory neurotransmitter-infusion result in similar pathophysiological processes. The efferent system provides protection against at least two of these traumatic insults.
In Specific Aim 1, we will test the hypothesis that lateral efferent pathways mediate sound-induced trauma in guinea pigs. We will lesion the lateral superior olive, the origin of lateral efferent fibers, then expose subjects to loud sounds. Lesioned subjects should show more sound-induced damage. Sound-induced functional deficits will also be assessed during cochlear perfusion with lateral efferent neurotransmitters. Perfusion of these neurotransmitters should reduce deficits.
In Specific Aim 2, we will test the hypothesis that activation of the efferent system with non-=traumatic acoustic stimulation results in protection against excitatory neurotransmitter-induced trauma. Protective mechanisms will be specifically linked to the efferent pathways when we conduct efferent lesions, and infuse lateral efferent neurotransmitters. Understanding protection by the efferent system may lead to the identification of methods for protecting the auditory system. If we can identify protection mechanisms at a molecular level, we may be able to up- regulate or apply exogenous factors in clinical settings to provide protection to those know they will be exposed to potentially damaging stimulation. Similar treatment could be provided for those likely to undergo periods of transient ischemia during surgical procedures involving the eighth nerve.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-CMS (04))
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Schools of Medicine
Ann Arbor
United States
Zip Code
Le Prell, Colleen G; Kawamoto, Kohei; Raphael, Yehoash et al. (2006) Electromotile hearing: acoustic tones mask psychophysical response to high-frequency electrical stimulation of intact guinea pig cochleae. J Acoust Soc Am 120:3889-900
Le Prell, Colleen G; Yagi, Masao; Kawamoto, Kohei et al. (2004) Chronic excitotoxicity in the guinea pig cochlea induces temporary functional deficits without disrupting otoacoustic emissions. J Acoust Soc Am 116:1044-56
Le Prell, Colleen G; Shore, Susan E; Hughes, Larry F et al. (2003) Disruption of lateral efferent pathways: functional changes in auditory evoked responses. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol 4:276-90
Le Prell, Colleen G; Moody, David B (2002) Detection thresholds for intensity increments in a single harmonic of synthetic Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) monkey coo calls. J Comp Psychol 116:253-62
Le Prell, C G; Niemiec, A J; Moody, D B (2001) Macaque thresholds for detecting increases in intensity: effects of formant structure. Hear Res 162:29-42
Le Prell, C G; Moody, D B (2000) Factors influencing the salience of temporal cues in the discrimination of synthetic Japanese monkey (Macaca fuscata) coo calls. J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 26:261-73