The structural phenotype of neural connections in the auditory brainstem is sculpted by spontaneous and stimulus-induced neural activities during development. However, functional and molecular mechanisms of spontaneous action potentials (SAPs) in the developing cochlea are unknown. Additionally, it is unclear how regenerating hair cells establish their neural ranking in the constellation of neurons in the brainstem. We have demonstrated that a transient Ca2+ current produced by the Cav3.1 channel is expressed early in development to initiate spontaneous Ca2+ spikes. Ca v1.3 currents, typical of mature hair cells, appeared later in development. Moreover, there is a surprising disappearance of the Ca v3.1 current that coincides with the attenuation of the transient Ca2+ current as the electrical properties of hair cells transition to the mature phenotype. Remarkably, this process is recapitulated during hair-cell regeneration, suggesting that the transient expression of Ca v3.1 and the ensuing SAPs are signatures of hair cell development and regeneration.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Nov 27 2007|
- Ca currents
- Spontaneous activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas