Abstract Homeostatic plasticity, the ability of neurons to maintain their averaged activity constant around a set point value, is thought to account for the central hyperactivity after hearing loss. Here, we investigated the putative role of GABAergic neurotransmission in this mechanism after a noise-induced hearing loss larger than 50 dB in high frequencies in guinea pigs. The effect of GABAergic inhibition is linked to the normal functioning of K+‒Cl- co-transporter isoform 2 (KCC2) which maintains a low intracellular concentration of chloride. The expression of membrane KCC2 were investigated before after noise trauma in the ventral and dorsal cochlear nucleus (VCN and DCN, respectively) and in the inferior colliculus (IC). Moreover, the effect of gabazine (GBZ), a GABA antagonist, was also studied on the neural activity in IC. We show that KCC2 is downregulated in VCN, DCN and IC 3 days after noise trauma, and in DCN and IC 30 days after the trauma. As expected, GBZ application in the IC of control animals resulted in an increase of spontaneous and stimulus-evoked activity. In the noise exposed animals, on the other hand, GBZ application decreased the stimulus-evoked activity in IC neurons. The functional implications of these central changes are discussed.