PubMed 14645476

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Cav1.3 , Kir6.2

Title: CaV1.3 channels are essential for development and presynaptic activity of cochlear inner hair cells.

Authors: Andreas Brandt, Joerg Striessnig, Tobias Moser

Journal, date & volume: J. Neurosci., 2003 Nov 26 , 23, 10832-40

PubMed link:

Cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs) release neurotransmitter onto afferent auditory nerve fibers in response to sound stimulation. During early development, afferent synaptic transmission is triggered by spontaneous Ca2+ spikes of IHCs, which are under efferent cholinergic control. Around the onset of hearing, large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels are acquired, and Ca2+ spikes as well as the cholinergic innervation are lost. Here, we performed patch-clamp measurements in IHCs of mice lacking the CaV1.3 channel (CaV1.3-/-) to investigate the role of this prevailing voltage-gated Ca2+ channel in IHC development and synaptic function. The small Ca2+ current remaining in IHCs from 3-week-old CaV1.3-/- mice was mainly mediated by L-type Ca2+ channels, because it was sensitive to dihydropyridines but resistant to inhibitors of non-L-type Ca2+ channels such as omega-conotoxins GVIA and MVIIC and SNX-482. Depolarization induced only marginal exocytosis in CaV1.3-/- IHC, which was solely mediated by L-type Ca2+ channels, whereas robust exocytic responses were elicited by photolysis of caged Ca2+. Secretion triggered by short depolarizations was reduced proportionally to the Ca2+ current, suggesting that the coupling of the remaining channels to exocytosis was unchanged. CaV1.3-/- IHCs lacked the Ca2+ action potentials and displayed a complex developmental failure. Most strikingly, we observed a continued presence of efferent cholinergic synaptic transmission and a lack of functional large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels up to 4 weeks after birth. We conclude that CaV1.3 channels are essential for normal hair cell development and synaptic transmission.