María Eugenia Gómez-Casati

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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)
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)
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)
The alpha9 and alpha10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits assemble to form the alpha9alpha10 nAChR subtype. This receptor is believed to mediate cholinergic synaptic transmission between efferent olivocochlear fibers and the hair cells of the cochlea. In addition alpha9 and/or alpha10 expression has been described in dorsal root ganglion(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)
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)
Recent studies indicate that supporting cells play important roles in inner ear development, function, and regeneration after injury, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes remain poorly understood. Inducible cell-specific gene recombination in supporting cells could be a powerful tool to study the roles of specific molecules in these(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)
In this study, we report the effects of the quinoline derivatives quinine, its optical isomer quinidine, and chloroquine on alpha9alpha10-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The compounds blocked acetylcholine (ACh)-evoked responses in alpha9alpha10-injected Xenopus laevis oocytes in a concentration-dependent manner, with a rank order of(More)