A quantitative comparison of mechanoelectrical transduction in vestibular and auditory hair cells of neonatal mice.

  • Géléoc G
  • Lennan G
  • Richardson G
 et al. 
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Vestibular hair cells (VHCs) and cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs)
of neonatal mice were stimulated by a fluid jet directed at their
stereociliary bundles. Relations between the force exerted by the
jet, bundle displacement, and the resulting transducer current were
studied. The mean maximum transducer conductance in VHCs (2.6 nS)
was about half that of the OHCs (5.5 nS), with the largest recorded
values being 4.1 nS and 9.2 nS, respectively. In some OHCs activity
of a single, 112 pS transducer channel was observed, allowing an
estimate of the maximum number of channels: up to 36 in VHCs and
82 in OHCs, corresponding to about one transducer channel per tip
link. The VHC bundles required about 330 nm of tip displacement to
activate 90% of the maximum transducer conductance, compared to
150 nm for the OHC bundles. This corresponded to 2 deg of rotation
about their pivots for both, due to the greater length of the VHC
bundles. The VHC bundles' translational stiffness was one-seventh
of that of the OHCs. Conversion to rotational stiffness almost abolished
this difference. Rotation of the hair bundle rather than translation
determines the gating of the transducer channels, independent of
bundle height or origin of the cells.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Animals; Electrophysiology; Hair Cells
  • Outer; Hair Cells
  • Vestibular; Mechanoreceptors; Mice; Organ Culture

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  • PMID: 9149428


  • G S Géléoc

  • G W Lennan

  • G P Richardson

  • C J Kros

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