Stimulus processing by type Ii hair cells in the mouse utricle
Holt, J.R.; Vollrath, M.A.; Eatock, R.A.
Annals of the new York Academy of Sciences 871: 15-26
In type II and neonatal hair cells in the mouse utricle, the receptor potentials evoked by low-frequency sinusoidal deflections of the hair bundle are attenuated by adaptation of the mechanoelectrical transduction current and the voltage-dependent activation of a large potassium (K)-selective outwardly rectifying conductance, gDR. These processes may contribute to high-pass filtering of the responses of some utricular afferents to sinusoidal linear accelerations below 2 Hz. Depolarizing receptor potentials are more attenuated by gDR than are hyperpolarizing receptor potentials. It may therefore reduce nonlinear distortion introduced by mechanoelectrical transduction, which generates larger depolarizing currents than hyperpolarizing currents. The discharge properties of utricular afferents vary according to whether they innervate the striolar or extrastriolar zones of the sensory epithelium. Regional variation in hair-cell properties is likely to contribute. Preliminary results suggest that the outwardly rectifying K conductances of type II cells are slower and larger in the striola than in the extrastriola, consistent with regional variation in the relative numbers of delayed rectifier and A-current K channels.