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Hear Res. 2011 Jun;276(1-2):70-8. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2010.11.004. Epub 2010 Nov 18.

Formation and maturation of the calyx of Held.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, 2205 McGaugh Hall, Irvine, CA 92697-4550, USA.

Abstract

Sound localization requires precise and specialized neural circuitry. A prominent and well-studied specialization is found in the mammalian auditory brainstem. Globular bushy cells of the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) project contralaterally to neurons of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB), where their large axons terminate on cell bodies of MNTB principal neurons, forming the calyces of Held. The VCN-MNTB pathway is necessary for the accurate computation of interaural intensity and time differences; MNTB neurons provide inhibitory input to the lateral superior olive, which compares levels of excitation from the ipsilateral ear to levels of tonotopically matched inhibition from the contralateral ear, and to the medial superior olive, where precise inhibition from MNTB neurons tunes the delays of binaural excitation. Here we review the morphological and physiological aspects of the development of the VCN-MNTB pathway and its calyceal termination, along with potential mechanisms that give rise to its precision. During embryonic development, VCN axons grow towards the midline, cross the midline into the region of the presumptive MNTB and then form collateral branches that will terminate in calyces of Held. In rodents, immature calyces of Held appear in MNTB during the first few days of postnatal life. These calyces mature morphologically and physiologically over the next three postnatal weeks, enabling fast, high fidelity transmission in the VCN-MNTB pathway.

PMID:
21093567
PMCID:
PMC3109188
DOI:
10.1016/j.heares.2010.11.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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