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Hear Res 1991 Feb;51(2):255-64

Electrophysiological evidence for the presence of NMDA receptors in the guinea pig cochlea.

Puel JL, Ladrech S, Chabert R, Pujol R, Eybalin M

INSERM - U. 254 et Universite de Montpellier II, CHR Hopital St. Charles, France.

An excitatory amino acid, possibly L-glutamate, which probably acts as a neurotransmitter at the inner hair cell-afferent fiber synapses in the cochlea. In the present study, we have used an electrophysiological approach to investigate at this level the presence of a major type of excitatory amino acid receptor, namely the glutamatergic receptor for which N-methyl-D-aspartate is a selective agonist. Our results show that, when N-methyl-D-aspartate and the antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate are perfused through the perilymphatic scalae, they induced, by different mechanisms, a significant reduction of the amplitude of the compound action potential and an increase of the N1 latency, both predominant at high intensity tone burst stimulations. No significant difference was found in the presence or absence of Mg2+ in the artificial perilymph used as a vehicle. A further slight N-methyl-D-aspartate-induced decrease of the amplitude of the compound action potential, although non significant, was observed when the Mg2(+)-free perilymph contained 100 or 1000 microM glycine. In all the experimental conditions, no effect was observed on the cochlear microphonic potential. This observation is consistent with an action of N-methyl-D-aspartate and 2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate at receptors located on the auditory nerve dendrites contacting the inner hair cells. In conclusion, our results suggest the presence of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in the cochlea.

PMID: 1674507, UI: 91236572

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