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.

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

MAGISTRETTI, JACOPO;MASETTO, SERGIO;
2013-01-01

Abstract

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.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/762633
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