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Front Syst Neurosci. 2015 Mar 2;9:21. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2015.00021. eCollection 2015.

Stronger efferent suppression of cochlear neural potentials by contralateral acoustic stimulation in awake than in anesthetized chinchilla.

Author information

1
Departamento de Tecnología Médica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile Santiago, Chile ; Programa de Fisiología y Biofísica, ICBM, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile Santiago, RM, Chile.
2
Programa de Fisiología y Biofísica, ICBM, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile Santiago, RM, Chile.
3
Programa de Fisiología y Biofísica, ICBM, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile Santiago, RM, Chile ; Departamento de Otorrinolaringología, Hospital Clínico, Universidad de Chile Santiago, Chile.

Abstract

There are two types of sensory cells in the mammalian cochlea, inner hair cells, which make synaptic contact with auditory-nerve afferent fibers, and outer hair cells that are innervated by crossed and uncrossed medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferent fibers. Contralateral acoustic stimulation activates the uncrossed efferent MOC fibers reducing cochlear neural responses, thus modifying the input to the central auditory system. The chinchilla, among all studied mammals, displays the lowest percentage of uncrossed MOC fibers raising questions about the strength and frequency distribution of the contralateral-sound effect in this species. On the other hand, MOC effects on cochlear sensitivity have been mainly studied in anesthetized animals and since the MOC-neuron activity depends on the level of anesthesia, it is important to assess the influence of anesthesia in the strength of efferent effects. Seven adult chinchillas (Chinchilla laniger) were chronically implanted with round-window electrodes in both cochleae. We compared the effect of contralateral sound in awake and anesthetized condition. Compound action potentials (CAP) and cochlear microphonics (CM) were measured in the ipsilateral cochlea in response to tones in absence and presence of contralateral sound. Control measurements performed after middle-ear muscles section in one animal discarded any possible middle-ear reflex activation. Contralateral sound produced CAP amplitude reductions in all chinchillas, with suppression effects greater by about 1-3 dB in awake than in anesthetized animals. In contrast, CM amplitude increases of up to 1.9 dB were found in only three awake chinchillas. In both conditions the strongest efferent effects were produced by contralateral tones at frequencies equal or close to those of ipsilateral tones. Contralateral CAP suppressions for 1-6 kHz ipsilateral tones corresponded to a span of uncrossed MOC fiber innervation reaching at least the central third of the chinchilla cochlea.

KEYWORDS:

CAP suppression; anesthesia; auditory efferent; contralateral MOC reflex; frequency tuning; olivocochlear

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