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Hear Res. 2002 Mar;165(1-2):1-9.

K+ cycling and the endocochlear potential.

Author information

1
Cell Physiology Laboratory, Anatomy and Physiology Department, Kansas State University, 1600 Denison Avenue, Manhattan 66506, USA. wange@vet.ksu.edu

Abstract

Sensory transduction in the cochlea and the vestibular labyrinth depends on the cycling of K+. In the cochlea, endolymphatic K+ flows into the sensory hair cells via the apical transduction channel and is released from the hair cells into perilymph via basolateral K+ channels including KCNQ4. K+ may be taken up by fibrocytes in the spiral ligament and transported from cell to cell via gap junctions into strial intermediate cells. Gap junctions may include GJB2, GJB3 and GJB6. K+ is released from the intermediate cells into the intrastrial space via the KCNJ10 K+ channel that generates the endocochlear potential. From the intrastrial space, K+ is taken up across the basolateral membrane of strial marginal cells via the Na+/2Cl-/K+ cotransporter SLC12A2 and the Na+/K+-ATPase ATP1A1/ATP1B2. Strial marginal cells secrete K+ across the apical membrane into endolymph via the K+ channel KCNQ1/KCNE1, which concludes the cochlear cycle. A similar K+ cycle exists in the vestibular labyrinth. Endolymphatic K+ flows into the sensory hair cells via the apical transduction channel and is released from the hair cells via basolateral K+ channels including KCNQ4. Fibrocytes connected by gap junctions including GJB2 may be involved in delivering K+ to vestibular dark cells. Extracellular K+ is taken up into vestibular dark cells via SLC12A2 and ATP1A1/ATP1B2 and released into endolymph via KCNQ1/KCNE1, which concludes the vestibular cycle. The importance of K+ cycling is underscored by the fact that mutations of KCNQ1, KCNE1, KCNQ4, GJB2, GJB3 and GJB6 lead to deafness in humans and that null mutations of KCNQ1, KCNE1, KCNJ10 and SLC12A2 lead to deafness in mouse models.

PMID:
12031509
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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