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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Calcium current in type I hair cells isolated from the semicircular canal crista ampullaris of the rat.

The low voltage gain in type I hair cells implies that neurotransmitter release at their afferent synapse should be mediated by low voltage activated calcium channels, or that some peculiar mechanism should be operating in this synapse. With the patch clamp technique, we studied the characteristics of the Ca(2+) current in type I hair cells enzymatically dissociated from rat semicircular canal crista ampullaris. Calcium current in type I hair cells exhibited a slow inactivation (during 2-s depolarizing steps), was sensitive to nimodipine and was blocked by Cd(2+) and Ni(2+). This current was activated at potentials above -60 mV, had a mean half maximal activation of -36 mV, and exhibited no steady-state inactivation at holding potentials between -100 and -60 mV. This data led us to conclude that hair cell Ca(2+) current is most likely of the L type. Thus, other mechanisms participating in neurotransmitter release such as K(+) accumulation in the synaptic cleft, modulation of K(+) currents by nitric oxide, participation of a Na(+) current and possible metabotropic cascades activated by depolarization should be considered.[1]


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