THE MECHANISM OF OUTER HAIR CELL MOTILITY

  • Hallworth, Richard J. (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

DESCRIPTION: (Adapted from the Investigator's Abstract) The outer hair cell
(OHC) of the mammalian cochlea, a sensory receptor cell, generates force when
electrically stimulated. OHC force, driven in vivo by the acoustic receptor
potential, is thought to contribute an extra step of mechanical excitation (the
"cochlear amplifier") that improves tuning and is vulnerable to disease and
insult. Recent experiments in this laboratory have shown that the axial
stiffness of the OHC is essential to connect the OHC voltage-dependent motor to
its load, the organ of Corti. But nothing is known about OHC stiffness at
relevant acoustic frequencies nor are the cellular components underlying OHC
stiffness understood. This proposal has three specific aims that will provide
this information. In Aim1, OHC impedance (stiffness) will be measured directly
at acoustic frequencies using a novel instrument, the laser stretcher. Whether
membrane potential modulates impedance-a proposed mechanism of the cochlear
amplifier-will be tested. The first direct measurement of isometric force will
be made. In Aim 2, the role of OHC stiffness in the development of hearing will
be determined, specifically whether the onset of OHC stiffness is a limiting
event in development of the cochlear amplifer. In Aim 3, the role of the
cortex, a subcellular structure in OHC stiffness will be determined using a
developmental approach.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date12/1/9911/30/05

Funding

  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: $200,805.00
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: $189,286.00
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: $194,974.00
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: $206,836.00
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: $247,223.00

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