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Transmission of phase-coupling accuracy from the auditory nerve to spherical bushy cells in the Mongolian gerbil.

Hear Res 268:234-49. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2010.06.005. Epub 2010 Jun 16.

Authors/Editors: Dehmel S
Kopp-Scheinpflug C
Weick M
Dörrscheidt GJ
Rübsamen R
Publication Date: 2010
Type of Publication: Journal Articles 2001 - 2018

Abstract

The phase of low-frequency sinusoids is encoded in phase-coupled discharges of spherical bushy cells (SBCs) of the anteroventral cochlear nucleus and transmitted to the medial superior olive, where binaural input-coincidence is used for processing of sound source localization. SBCs are innervated by auditory nerve fibers through large, excitatory synapses (endbulbs of Held) and by inhibitory inputs, which effectively reduce SBC discharge rates. Here we monitor presynaptic potentials of endbulb-terminals and postsynaptic spikes of SBCs in extracellular single unit recordings in vivo. We compare postsynaptic phase-coupling of SBCs and their presynaptic immediate auditory nerve input. In all but one SBC discharge rates at the characteristic frequency were reduced pre-to-postsynaptically and phase-coupling accuracy was increased in one-third of them. We investigated the contribution of systemic inhibition on spike timing in SBCs by iontophoretic application of glycine- and GABA-receptor antagonists (strychnine, bicuculline). Discharge rate increased in one-third of the units during antagonist application, which was accompanied by a deterioration of phase-coupling accuracy in half of those units. These results suggest that the phase-coupling accuracy is improved in a subpopulation of SBCs during transmission from the auditory nerve to the SBCs by reduction of spike rates.

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