María Eugenia Gómez-Casati

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In the mature cochlea, inner hair cells (IHCs) transduce acoustic signals into receptor potentials, communicating to the brain by synaptic contacts with afferent fibers. Before the onset of hearing, a transient efferent innervation is found on IHCs, mediated by a nicotinic cholinergic receptor that may contain both alpha9 and alpha10 subunits. Calcium(More)
Before the onset of hearing, a transient efferent innervation is found on inner hair cells (IHCs). This synapse is inhibitory and mediated by a nicotinic cholinergic receptor (nAChR) probably formed by the alpha9 and alpha10 subunits. We analysed the pharmacological and biophysical characteristics of the native nAChR using whole-cell recordings from IHCs in(More)
Recent studies indicate that molecules released by glia can induce synapse formation. However, what induces glia to produce such signals, their identity, and their in vivo relevance remain poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that supporting cells of the vestibular organ--cells that have many characteristics of glia--promote synapse formation only when(More)
In this study we report the effects of neramexane, a novel amino-alkyl-cyclohexane derivative that is a non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, on recombinant rat α9α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. We compared its effects with those of memantine, a well-studied pore blocker of NMDA(More)
The alpha9 and alpha10 nicotinic cholinergic subunits assemble to form the receptor that mediates synaptic transmission between efferent olivocochlear fibers and hair cells of the cochlea. They are the latest vertebrate nicotinic cholinergic receptor (nAChR) subunits that have been cloned, and their identification has established a distant early divergent(More)
We have performed a systematic mutagenesis of three hydrophobic rings (17', 13' and 9') within transmembrane region (TM) 2 of the alpha9alpha10 nicotinic cholinergic receptor (nAChR) to a hydrophilic (threonine) residue and compared the properties of mutant receptors reconstituted in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Phenotypic changes in alpha9alpha10 mutant(More)
Efferent inhibition of cochlear hair cells is mediated by alpha9alpha10 nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs) functionally coupled to calcium-activated, small conductance (SK2) potassium channels. Before the onset of hearing, efferent fibers transiently make functional cholinergic synapses with inner hair cells (IHCs). The retraction of these fibers(More)
The synapse between olivocochlear (OC) neurons and cochlear mechanosensory hair cells is cholinergic, fast, and inhibitory. The inhibitory sign of this cholinergic synapse is accounted for by the activation of Ca(2+)-permeable postsynaptic α9α10 nicotinic receptors coupled to the opening of hyperpolarizing Ca(2+)-activated small-conductance type 2 (SK2)K(+)(More)
Neurotrophin-3 (Ntf3) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) are critical for sensory neuron survival and establishment of neuronal projections to sensory epithelia in the embryonic inner ear, but their postnatal functions remain poorly understood. Using cell-specific inducible gene recombination in mice we found that, in the postnatal inner ear, Bbnf(More)
The alpha9 and alpha10 nicotinic cholinergic subunits assemble to form the receptor believed to mediate synaptic transmission between efferent olivocochlear fibers and hair cells of the cochlea, one of the few examples of postsynaptic function for a non-muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). However, it has been suggested that the expression(More)