Neurochemical Research

, Volume 33, Issue 8, pp 1435–1441

Extracellular pH Modulates the Voltage-dependent Ca2+ Current and Low Threshold K+ Current in Hair Cells


  • Angélica Almanza
    • Instituto de FisiologíaUniversidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP)
  • Francisco Mercado
    • Instituto de FisiologíaUniversidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP)
  • Rosario Vega
    • Instituto de FisiologíaUniversidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP)
    • Instituto de FisiologíaUniversidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP)
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11064-007-9565-9

Cite this article as:
Almanza, A., Mercado, F., Vega, R. et al. Neurochem Res (2008) 33: 1435. doi:10.1007/s11064-007-9565-9


Extracellular protons have been shown to modulate voltage-activated ionic channels. It has been proposed that synaptic modulation by exocytosed vesicular protons would be a characteristic feature of ribbon-type synapses. Type-I hair cells have a calyceal afferent junction with a diffusionally restricted synaptic cleft. These led us to study the action of extracellular pH changes on the voltage-activated Ca2+ and K+ currents evaluated using a whole-cell patch clamp in isolated cells. The amplitude of the Ca2+ and the K+ current were reduced by extracellular acidification, but without significant changes with extracellular alkalization. A shift in the voltage dependence to a more positive membrane potential was achieved at pH < 6.8. Our results shows that the presynaptic K+ and Ca2+ currents are modulated by protons, indicating that protons released along with an afferent neurotransmitter would participate as a feedback mechanism in type-I hair cells.


Calcium channelPotassium channelERGKCNQInner earVestibular endorgansRibbon synapseSynapticAfferent synapseProtonNeuromodulationNeurotransmitter release

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008