An Electrical Inspection of the Subsurface Cisternae of the Outer Hair Cell

作者:Song Lei; Santos Sacchi Joseph*
来源:Biophysical Journal, 2015, 108(3): 568-577.


The cylindrical outer hair cell (OHC) of Corti's organ drives cochlear amplification by a voltage-dependent activation of the molecular motor, prestin (SLC26a5), in the cell's lateral membrane. The voltage-dependent nature of this process leads to the troublesome observation that the membrane resistor-capacitor filter could limit high-frequency acoustic activation of the motor. Based on cable theory, the unique 30 nm width compartment (the extracisternal space, ECS) formed between the cell's lateral membrane and adjacent subsurface cisternae (SSC) could further limit the influence of receptor currents on lateral membrane voltage. Here, we use dual perforated/whole-cell and loose patch clamp on isolated OHCs to sequentially record currents resulting from excitation at apical, middle, and basal loose patch sites before and after perforated patch rupture. We find that timing of currents is fast and uniform before whole-cell pipette washout, suggesting little voltage attenuation along the length of the lateral membrane. Prior treatment with salicylate, a disrupter of the SSC, confirms the influence of the SSC on current spread. Finally, a cable model of the OHC, which can match our data, indicates that the SSC poses a minimal barrier to current flow across it, thereby facilitating rapid delivery of voltage excitation to the prestin-embedded lateral membrane.

  • 出版日期2015-2-3