The cochlear outer hair cell (OHC), which plays a crucial role in mammalian hearing through its unique voltage-dependent motility, has been established as a primary target of the ototoxicity of aminoglycoside antibiotics. These polycationic drugs are also known to block a wide variety of ion channels, purinergic ionotropic channels, and nicotinic ACh receptors in hair cells in vitro. The OHC motor protein, prestin, is a voltage-sensitive transmembrane protein containing several negatively charged residues on both intra- and extracellular surface. The acidic sites may be susceptible to polycationic-charged aminoglycoside binding, which may result in disruption of motility. We attempted to examine whether aminoglycosides such as streptomycin and gentamicin could affect OHC motility and its electrical signature, the nonlinear capacitance (NLC) in adult gerbil OHCs. Somatic motility and NLC were measured under the whole-cell voltage-clamp mode. Streptomycin and gentamicin were applied extracellularly or intracellularly. Results show that streptomycin and gentamicin did not change either the magnitude of motility or the NLC. Theses results suggest that, although streptomycin and gentamicin can block mechanotransduction channels as well as ACh receptors in hair cells, they have no direct affect on OHC somatic motility.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems