Gating Compliance, a Reduction in Hair-Bundle Stiffness Associated with the Gating of Transduction Channels in Hair Cells from the Bullfrog’s Sacculus

  • A. J. Hudspeth
  • W. M. Roberts
  • J. Howard
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA)


The electrical response of any organ of the internal ear or lateral-line system depends upon the hair cell’s sensitivity to mechanical stimulation. This mechano-sensitivity resides in the hair bundle, a cluster of 20–300 stereocilia that extends from the apical surface of the cell. Sound, acceleration, or water motion causes movement of an accessory structure such as a tectorial membrane, otolithic membrane, or cupula, which in turn deflects the hair bundle’s tip. By opening transduction channels, excitatory deflection then produces a depolarizing receptor potential which modulates the cell’s release of synaptic transmitter and hence the activity in eighth-nerve fibers.


Hair Cell Elastic Element Hair Bundle Tectorial Membrane Transduction Element 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. Hudspeth
    • 1
  • W. M. Roberts
    • 1
  • J. Howard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of California School of MedicineSan FranciscoUSA

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