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Hear Res. 2002 Jun;168(1-2):25-34.

AMPA and NMDA receptors mediate synaptic excitation in the rat's inferior colliculus.

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Laboratory of Sensory Neuroscience, 335 Life Sciences Research Building, Institute of Neuroscience, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, K1S 5B6, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


The synaptic mechanisms underlying excitation in the rat's central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICC) were examined by making whole-cell patch clamp recordings in brain slice preparations of the auditory midbrain. Responses were elicited by current pulse stimulation of the lateral lemniscus and recordings were made in ICC using either current clamp or voltage clamp methods. The excitatory postsynaptic responses in either current or voltage clamp mode consisted of two distinct components, an early component that could be blocked by bath application of the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor antagonists, 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) or 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6-nitro-2,3-dioxo-benzo[f]quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide (NBQX), and a later component that could be blocked by application of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists, (+/-)-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV) or (+/-)-3-(2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl)-propyl-1-phosphonic acid (CPP). Both AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated responses were present at resting potential and could be isolated pharmacologically by application of receptor antagonists. Voltage clamp experiments revealed that the NMDA receptor-mediated current was voltage-dependent and increased in magnitude as the cell membrane was depolarized. This NMDA receptor-mediated response was enhanced at resting potential when Mg(2+) was eliminated from the bath solution. The ratio of response amplitudes associated with the late and early components, an estimate of the relative contribution of NMDA and AMPA receptor types, changed with age. There was a progressive decline in the ratio between 9 and 13 days of age, but no further reduction between days 13 and 16. The data show that both AMPA and NMDA receptors are important for determining excitatory responses in the ICC and that both receptor types probably play a role in auditory processing after the onset of hearing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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