September 26 (Tue) at 16:00 - 17:00, 2023 (JST)
  • Takeru Ota (Assistant Professor, Division of Glocal Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University)
  • via Zoom
Shingo Gibo

We hear sounds. The acoustic wave passes through the ear canal and oscillates the ear drum. The middle ear bones conduct the mechanical input into the cochlea, the primary sensory organ of hearing. A sensory epithelium, a sheet-like tissue inside the snail-like structure, decomposes the sound frequencies into each component along the coil. The sound stimulation evokes nanometer-scale motions in the epithelium which contains hair cells. The cells expose their hair bundles to endolymph, the extracellular solution characterized by high [K+]. The epithelium vibration changes the open probability of mechanosensitive channels on the bundles and modulates the ion entering from the fluid. Inner hair cells release neurotransmitters to the auditory nerves and outer hair cells shrink and elongate their soma depending on the receptor potentials. The electromotive response amplifies the vibration of the sensory epithelium and contributes to the faint sound sensitivity and sharp frequency selectivity. With developed technique, we observed the sound-evoked vibrations in the sensory epithelium. In this seminar, I will introduce the physiological background of the cochlear physics and the recent results.

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