Objective: The present study aimed to examine whether an E-prostanoid receptor 4 (EP4) agonist has superior protective effects to those of prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) in a guinea pig model of noise trauma. Methods: Drugs were locally applied on the round window membrane of guinea pig cochleae, followed by exposure of the test animals to intense noise. Protective effects mediated by an EP4 agonist were compared with those mediated by PGE1. Auditory function was monitored by measurements of the auditory brainstem response (ABR), and histological damage was assessed by immunohistochemical analysis of cochlear specimens. Results: Animals treated with an EP4 agonist exhibited significantly better hearing recovery than those pretreated with PGE1. Histologically, the numbers of remaining outer hair cells in cochleae treated with the EP4 agonist were significantly higher than in those treated with PGE1. Conclusion: The selective activation of EP4 has a stronger protective effect on cochleae against noise trauma than does the broad activation of EPs by PGE1.
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