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The most serious side-effect of the widely used aminoglycoside antibiotics is irreversible intracellular damage to the auditory and vestibular hair cells of the inner ear. The mechanism of entry into the hair cells has not been unequivocally resolved. Here we report that extracellular dihydrostreptomycin not only blocks the mechano-electrical transducer(More)
Mutations in Myo7a cause hereditary deafness in mice and humans. We describe the effects of two mutations, Myo7a(6J) and Myo7a(4626SB), on mechano-electrical transduction in cochlear hair cells. Both mutations result in two major functional abnormalities that would interfere with sound transduction. The hair bundles need to be displaced beyond their(More)
Sensory hair cells are known for the exquisite displacement sensitivity with which they detect the sound-evoked vibrations in the inner ear. In this article, we determine a stochastically imposed fundamental lower bound on a hair cell's sensitivity to detect mechanically coded information arriving at its hair bundle. Based on measurements of transducer(More)
This chapter presents recent experiments designed to infer the properties of the ion-conducting pore of the mechanoelectrical transducer channel of sensory hair cells using permeant blockers. By combining results from experiments with three classes of large cationic permeant blockers, the fluorescent dye FM1-43, the aminoglycoside antibiotics, and the(More)
We quantified the molecular energies and forces involved in opening and closing of mechanoelectrical transducer channels in hair cells using a novel generally applicable method. It relies on a thermodynamic description of the free energy of an ion channel in terms of its open probability. The molecular gating force per channel as reflected in hair bundle(More)
The gating-spring theory of hair cell mechanotransduction channel activation was first postulated over twenty years ago. The basic tenets of this hypothesis have been reaffirmed in hair cells from both auditory and vestibular systems and across species. In fact, the basic findings have been reproduced in every hair cell type tested. A great deal of(More)
The position of a hydrodynamic dipole source, as encoded in a linear array of mechano-detecting neuromasts in the fish lateral line canal, was electrophysiologically investigated. Measured excitation patterns along the lateral line were compared to theoretical predictions and were found to be in good agreement. The results demonstrate that information on(More)
A great diversity of aquatic animals detects water flow with ciliated mechanoreceptors on the body's surface. In order to understand how these receptors mechanically filter signals, we developed a theoretical model of the superficial neuromast in the fish lateral line system. The cupula of the neuromast was modeled as a cylindrical beam that deflects in(More)
The complex mechanical behaviour of a hair cell bundle appears to be a direct consequence of the gating forces on the individual transduction channels. The mechanical molecular interactions involved in transduction channel gating, therefore, also bear a reciprocal influence, via the hair bundles, on the mechanical properties of accessory structures driving(More)
Superficial neuromasts are structures that detect water flow on the surface of the body of fish and amphibians. As a component of the lateral line system, these receptors are distributed along the body, where they sense flow patterns that mediate a wide variety of behaviors. Their ability to detect flow is governed by their structural properties, yet the(More)