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Outer hair cells (OHC) serve as electromechanical amplifiers that guarantee the unique sensitivity and frequency selectivity of the mammalian cochlea. It is unknown whether the afferent fibres connected to adult OHCs are functional. If so, voltage-activated Ca2+ channels would be required for afferent synaptic transmission. In neonatal OHCs, Ca2+ channels(More)
Mammalian cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs) are specialized to process developmental signals during immature stages and sound stimuli in adult animals. These signals are conveyed onto auditory afferent nerve fibres. Neurotransmitter release at IHC ribbon synapses is controlled by L-type Ca(V)1.3 Ca(2+) channels, the biophysics of which are still unknown in(More)
Thyroid hormone (TH) is essential for the development of hearing. Lack of TH in a critical developmental period from embryonic day 17 to postnatal day 12 (P12) in rats and mice leads to morphological and functional deficits in the organ of Corti and the auditory pathway. We investigated the effects of TH on inner hair cells (IHCs) using patch-clamp(More)
The molecular basis of high versus low frequency hearing loss and the differences in the sensitivity of outer hair cells depending on their cochlear localization are currently not understood. Here we demonstrate the existence of two different outer hair cell phenotypes along the cochlear axis. Outer hair cells in low frequency regions exhibit early(More)
Mammalian cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs) are specialized for the dynamic coding of continuous and finely graded sound signals. This ability is largely conferred by the linear Ca(2+) dependence of neurotransmitter release at their synapses, which is also a feature of visual and olfactory systems. The prevailing hypothesis is that linearity in IHCs occurs(More)
The mammalian cochlea is specialized to recognize and process complex auditory signals with remarkable acuity and temporal precision over a wide frequency range. The quality of the information relayed to the auditory afferent fibers mainly depends on the transfer characteristics of inner hair cell (IHC) ribbon synapses. To investigate the biophysical(More)
The large conductance voltage- and Ca2+-activated potassium (BK) channel has been suggested to play an important role in the signal transduction process of cochlear inner hair cells. BK channels have been shown to be composed of the pore-forming alpha-subunit coexpressed with the auxiliary beta1-subunit. Analyzing the hearing function and cochlear phenotype(More)
Outer hair cells (OHCs) are innervated by type II afferent fibers of as yet unknown function. It is still a matter of debate whether OHCs perform exocytosis. If so, they would require presynaptic Ca2+ channels at their basal poles where the type II fibers make contacts. Here we show that L-type Ca2+ channel currents (charge carrier, 10 mM Ba2+) present in(More)
The auxiliary subunit α2δ2 modulates the abundance and function of voltage-gated calcium channels. Here we show that α2δ2 mRNA is expressed in neonatal and mature hair cells. A functional α2δ2-null mouse, the ducky mouse (du), showed elevated auditory brainstem response click and frequency-dependent hearing thresholds. Otoacoustic emissions were not(More)
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