PubMed 25409445

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Cav1.3 , Slo1

Title: Fine Tuning of CaV1.3 Ca2+ channel properties in adult inner hair cells positioned in the most sensitive region of the Gerbil Cochlea.

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

Journal, date & volume: PLoS ONE, 2014 , 9, e113750

PubMed link:

Hearing relies on faithful signal transmission by cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs) onto auditory fibres over a wide frequency and intensity range. Exocytosis at IHC ribbon synapses is triggered by Ca(2+) inflow through Ca(V)1.3 (L-type) Ca(2+) channels. We investigated the macroscopic (whole-cell) and elementary (cell-attached) properties of Ca(2+) currents in IHCs positioned at the middle turn (frequency ∼ 2 kHz) of the adult gerbil cochlea, which is their most sensitive hearing region. Using near physiological recordings conditions (body temperature and a Na(+) based extracellular solution), we found that the macroscopic Ca(2+) current activates and deactivates very rapidly (time constant below 1 ms) and inactivates slowly and only partially. Single-channel recordings showed an elementary conductance of 15 pS, a sub-ms latency to first opening, and a very low steady-state open probability (Po: 0.024 in response to 500-ms depolarizing steps at ∼-18 mV). The value of Po was significantly larger (0.06) in the first 40 ms of membrane depolarization, which corresponds to the time when most Ca(2+) channel openings occurred clustered in bursts (mean burst duration: 19 ms). Both the Po and the mean burst duration were smaller than those previously reported in high-frequency basal IHCs. Finally, we found that middle turn IHCs are likely to express about 4 times more Ca(2+) channels per ribbon than basal cells. We propose that middle-turn IHCs finely-tune Ca(V)1.3 Ca(2+) channel gating in order to provide reliable information upon timing and intensity of lower-frequency sounds.