Cholinergic Inhibition of Hair Cells

  • Eleonora Katz
  • Ana Belén Elgoyhen
  • Paul Albert Fuchs
Part of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research book series (SHAR, volume 38)


In the inner ear, the activity of hair cells that transform sound into electrical signals is modulated by a descending efferent innervation from the brain. A major component of this feedback involves cholinergic inhibition of hair cells via an unusual ionic mechanism. It activates rapidly (on the order of milliseconds), but instead of being mediated by a hyperpolarizing conductance through γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and/or glycine receptors, it is served by nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChR), which usually mediate excitatory postsynaptic responses. How is fast inhibition accomplished if the activation of a cationic channel (the nAChR) at the resting membrane potential should depolarize the hair cell?


Hair Cell Efferent Fiber Cochlear Hair Cell Superior Olivary Complex Nicotinic Cholinergic Receptor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleonora Katz
    • 1
  • Ana Belén Elgoyhen
  • Paul Albert Fuchs
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería Genética y Biología Molecular (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas)Buenos AiresArgentina

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