PubMed 23713031

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Cav1.3

Title: Burst activity and ultrafast activation kinetics of CaV1.3 Ca²⁺ channels support presynaptic activity in adult gerbil hair cell ribbon synapses.

Authors: Valeria Zampini, Stuart L Johnson, Christoph Franz, Marlies Knipper, Matthew C Holley, Jacopo Magistretti, Sergio Masetto, Walter Marcotti

Journal, date & volume: J. Physiol. (Lond.), 2013 Aug 15 , 591, 3811-20

PubMed link:

Auditory information transfer to afferent neurons relies on precise triggering of neurotransmitter release at the inner hair cell (IHC) ribbon synapses by Ca²⁺ entry through CaV1.3 Ca²⁺ channels. Despite the crucial role of CaV1.3 Ca²⁺ channels in governing synaptic vesicle fusion, their elementary properties in adult mammals remain unknown. Using near-physiological recording conditions we investigated Ca²⁺ channel activity in adult gerbil IHCs. We found that Ca²⁺ channels are partially active at the IHC resting membrane potential (-60 mV). At -20 mV, the large majority (>70%) of Ca²⁺ channel first openings occurred with an estimated delay of about 50 μs in physiological conditions, with a mean open time of 0.5 ms. Similar to other ribbon synapses, Ca²⁺ channels in IHCs showed a low mean open probability (0.21 at -20 mV), but this increased significantly (up to 0.91) when Ca²⁺ channel activity switched to a bursting modality. We propose that IHC Ca²⁺ channels are sufficiently rapid to transmit fast signals of sound onset and support phase-locking. Short-latency Ca²⁺ channel opening coupled to multivesicular release would ensure precise and reliable signal transmission at the IHC ribbon synapse.