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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2008 Aug;18(4):389-95. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2008.09.006. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Hair cell afferent synapses.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 720 Rutland Avenue, Ross 824, Baltimore, MD 21205, United States.


This review will cover advances in the study of hair cell afferent synaptic function occurring between 2005 and 2008. During this time, capacitance measurements of vesicular fusion have continued to be refined, optical methods have added insights regarding vesicle trafficking, and paired intracellular recordings have established the transfer function of the afferent synapse at high resolution. Further, genes have been identified with forms of deafness known as auditory neuropathy, and their role in afferent signaling explored in mouse models. With these advances, our view of the hair cell afferent synapse has continued to be refined, and surprising properties have been revealed that emphasize the unique role of this structure in neural function.

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