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Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity Regulates the Level of Olivocochlear Inhibition to Auditory Hair Cells

Ballestero, J; de San Martin, JZ; Goutman, J; Belen Elgoyhen, A; Fuchs, PA; Katz, E; (2011) Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity Regulates the Level of Olivocochlear Inhibition to Auditory Hair Cells. JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE , 31 (41) 14763 - 14774. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6788-10.2011. Green open access

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Abstract

In the mammalian inner ear, the gain control of auditory inputs is exerted by medial olivocochlear (MOC) neurons that innervate cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs). OHCs mechanically amplify the incoming sound waves by virtue of their electromotile properties while the MOC system reduces the gain of auditory inputs by inhibiting OHC function. How this process is orchestrated at the synaptic level remains unknown. In the present study, MOC firing was evoked by electrical stimulation in an isolated mouse cochlear preparation, while OHCs postsynaptic responses were monitored by whole-cell recordings. These recordings confirmed that electrically evoked IPSCs (eIPSCs) are mediated solely by α9α10 nAChRs functionally coupled to calcium-activated SK2 channels. Synaptic release occurred with low probability when MOC-OHC synapses were stimulated at 1 Hz. However, as the stimulation frequency was raised, the reliability of release increased due to presynaptic facilitation. In addition, the relatively slow decay of eIPSCs gave rise to temporal summation at stimulation frequencies >10 Hz. The combined effect of facilitation and summation resulted in a frequency-dependent increase in the average amplitude of inhibitory currents in OHCs. Thus, we have demonstrated that short-term plasticity is responsible for shaping MOC inhibition and, therefore, encodes the transfer function from efferent firing frequency to the gain of the cochlear amplifier.

Type: Article
Title: Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity Regulates the Level of Olivocochlear Inhibition to Auditory Hair Cells
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6788-10.2011
Language: English
Additional information: PubMed ID: 21994392 This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The license allows you to copy, distribute, and transmit the work, as well as adapting it. However, you must attribute the work to the author (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work), and cannot use the work for commercial purposes without prior permission of the author. If you alter or build upon this work, you can distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1343798
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