Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Neurophysiol. 2010 Jul;104(1):18-34. doi: 10.1152/jn.00019.2010. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Calcium balance and mechanotransduction in rat cochlear hair cells.

Author information

  • 1Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U587, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, Hôpital Pellegrin, Bordeaux, France.


Auditory transduction occurs by opening of Ca(2+)-permeable mechanotransducer (MT) channels in hair cell stereociliary bundles. Ca(2+) clearance from bundles was followed in rat outer hair cells (OHCs) using fast imaging of fluorescent indicators. Bundle deflection caused a rapid rise in Ca(2+) that decayed after the stimulus, with a time constant of about 50 ms. The time constant was increased by blocking Ca(2+) uptake into the subcuticular plate mitochondria or by inhibiting the hair bundle plasma membrane Ca(2+) ATPase (PMCA) pump. Such manipulations raised intracellular Ca(2+) and desensitized the MT channels. Measurement of the electrogenic PMCA pump current, which saturated at 18 pA with increasing Ca(2+) loads, indicated a maximum Ca(2+) extrusion rate of 3.7 fmol x s(-1). The amplitude of the Ca(2+) transient decreased in proportion to the Ca(2+) concentration bathing the bundle and in artificial endolymph (160 mM K(+), 20 microM Ca(2+)), Ca(2+) carried 0.2% of the MT current. Nevertheless, MT currents in endolymph displayed fast adaptation with a submillisecond time constant. In endolymph, roughly 40% of the MT current was activated at rest when using 1 mM intracellular BAPTA compared with 12% with 1 mM EGTA, which enabled estimation of the in vivo Ca(2+) load as 3 pA at rest. The results were reproduced by a model of hair bundle Ca(2+) diffusion, showing that the measured PMCA pump density could handle Ca(2+) loads incurred from resting and maximal MT currents in endolymph. The model also indicated the endogenous mobile buffer was equivalent to 1 mM BAPTA.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk