PubMed 24177348

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir6.2 , Slo1

Title: A review of synaptic mechanisms of vestibular efferent signaling in turtles: extrapolation to efferent actions in mammals.

Authors: Paivi M Jordan, Xiaorong Xu Parks, Donatella Contini, J Chris Holt

Journal, date & volume: J Vestib Res, 2013 , 23, 161-75

PubMed link:

The vestibular labyrinth of nearly every vertebrate class receives a prominent efferent innervation that originates in the brainstem and ends as bouton terminals on vestibular hair cells and afferents in each end organ. Although the functional significance of this centrifugal pathway is not well understood, it is clear that efferent neurons, when electrically stimulated under experimental conditions, profoundly impact vestibular afferent discharge. Effects range from chiefly excitation in fish and mammalian vestibular afferents to a more heterogeneous mixture of inhibition and/or excitation in amphibians, reptiles, and birds. What accounts for these diverse response properties? Recent cellular and pharmacological characterization of efferent synaptic mechanisms in turtle offers some insight. In the turtle posterior crista, vestibular efferent neurons are predominantly cholinergic and the effects of efferent stimulation on vestibular afferent discharge can be ascribed to three distinct signaling pathways: (1) Hyperpolarization of type II hair cells mediated by α9/α10-nAChRs and SK-potassium channels; (2) Depolarization of bouton and calyx afferents via α4β2*-containing nAChRs; and (3) A slow excitation of calyx afferents attributed to muscarinic AChRs. In this review, we discuss the evidence for these pathways in turtle and speculate on their role in mammalian vestibular efferent actions where synaptic mechanisms are largely unknown.