Novel roles for prestin in frequency tuning and neural excitation in the mouse cochlea

Marcia M. Mellado Lagarde, Markus Drexl, Andrei N. Lukashkin, Jian Zuo, Ian J. Russell

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review

    Abstract

    The motor protein prestin in the outer hair cells is a prime candidate for the molecular amplifier that ensures the sensitivity, frequency tuning and dynamic range of the mammalian cochlea. Absence of prestin results in a 40-60 dB reduction in cochlear neural sensitivity. Here we show that sound-evoked basilar membrane (BM) vibrations in the basal cochleae of prestin-/- mice are as sensitive as those of their prestin+/+ siblings. BM vibrations in prestin-/- mice are, however, broadly tuned to a frequency ~ a half octave below the characteristic frequency (CF) of similar BM locations in prestin+/+ mice. The peak sensitivity of prestin+/+ BM tuning curves matches the neural thresholds, while prestin-/- BM tuning curves at the best frequency are > 50 dB more sensitive than the neural responses. We conclude that prestin influences properties of the cochlear partition that are crucial for BM frequency tuning and for converting its vibrations into neural excitation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationConcepts and Challenges in the Biophysics of Hearing - Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on the Mechanics of Hearing, MoH 2008
    EditorsDavid T. Kemp, Nigel P. Cooper
    PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co. Pte Ltd
    Pages148-154
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Electronic)9789812833778
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008
    Event10th International Workshop on the Mechanics of Hearing - Concepts and Challenges in the Biophysics of Hearing, MoH 2008 - Newcastle, United Kingdom
    Duration: 27 Jul 200831 Jul 2008

    Publication series

    NameConcepts and Challenges in the Biophysics of Hearing - Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on the Mechanics of Hearing, MoH 2008

    Conference

    Conference10th International Workshop on the Mechanics of Hearing - Concepts and Challenges in the Biophysics of Hearing, MoH 2008
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    CityNewcastle
    Period27/07/0831/07/08

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