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This study explored the potential protective role of taurine against aminoglycoside ototoxicity and the involvement of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the process. Guinea pigs, which received a single intravenous administration of gentamycin (100 mg/kg) followed by one large dose of furosemide (90 mg/kg, intravenously) were used as subjects. A rapid and profound hearing loss was seen in these animals 3-day posttreatment with iNOS expression upregulated in the cochlea. However, pretreatment with taurine prevented the hearing damage with decreased iNOS expression, similar to the effect of aminoguanidine, a selective inhibitor of iNOS. These findings suggest that taurine provides protection against the acute gentamycin/furosemide ototoxicity possibly by downregulating iNOS expression in the cochlea.

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