Exposure to loud noises results in neuroinflammatory responses in the central auditory pathway. Noise-induced neuroinflammation is implicated in auditory processing deficits such as impairment in gap detection. In this study, we examined whether strain differences between the FVB and C57BL/6 mice in noise-induced impairment in gap detection are correlated with strain differences in neuroinflammatory responses. We found that noise induced more robust TNF-α expression in C57BL/6 than in FVB mice. Noise-induced microglial deramification was observed in C57BL/6 mice, but not in FVB mice. Furthermore, noise exposure resulted in a reduction in parvalbumin-positive (PV+) neuron density in the C57BL/6 mice, but not in FVB mice. These results suggest that neuroinflammatory responses and loss of PV+ neurons may contribute to strain differences in noise-induced impairment in gap detection.
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