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Publication Detail
Divergent membrane properties of mouse cochlear glial cells around hearing onset.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Smith KE, Murphy P, Jagger DJ
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    679, 698
  • Journal:
    J Neurosci Res
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Country:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Kir4.1, RRID:AB_10013383, RRID:AB_141607, RRID:AB_162543, RRID:AB_2040120, RRID:AB_2144668, RRID:AB_2195374, RRID:AB_2286684, RRID:AB_2313773, RRID:AB_2340962, RRID:AB_2534117, RRID:AB_2535739, RRID:AB_2535775, Schwann cell, cochlea, electrophysiology, hearing, satellite glial cell, Action Potentials, Animals, Barium, Cells, Cultured, Cochlear Nerve, Desipramine, Female, Hearing, Ion Transport, Male, Membrane Potentials, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Myelin Sheath, Neurites, Neuroglia, Neurons, Afferent, Patch-Clamp Techniques, Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying, SOXB1 Transcription Factors, Spiral Ganglion
Spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) are the primary afferent neurons of the auditory system, and together with their attendant glia, form the auditory nerve. Within the cochlea, satellite glial cells (SGCs) encapsulate the cell body of SGNs, whereas Schwann cells (SCs) wrap their peripherally- and centrally-directed neurites. Despite their likely importance in auditory nerve function and homeostasis, the physiological properties of auditory glial cells have evaded description. Here, we characterized the voltage-activated membrane currents of glial cells from the mouse cochlea. We identified a prominent weak inwardly rectifying current in SGCs within cochlear slice preparations (postnatal day P5-P6), which was also present in presumptive SGCs within dissociated cultures prepared from the cochleae of hearing mice (P14-P15). Pharmacological block by Ba2+ and desipramine suggested that channels belonging to the Kir4 family mediated the weak inwardly rectifying current, and post hoc immunofluorescence implicated the involvement of Kir4.1 subunits. Additional electrophysiological profiles were identified for glial cells within dissociated cultures, suggesting that glial subtypes may have specific membrane properties to support distinct physiological roles. Immunofluorescence using fixed cochlear sections revealed that although Kir4.1 is restricted to SGCs after the onset of hearing, these channels are more widely distributed within the glial population earlier in postnatal development (i.e., within both SGCs and SCs). The decrease in Kir4.1 immunofluorescence during SC maturation was coincident with a reduction of Sox2 expression and advancing neurite myelination. The data suggest a diversification of glial properties occurs in preparation for sound-driven activity in the auditory nerve.
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