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ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-170526-10
Ca2+-Permeable AMPARs Mediate Glutamatergic Transmission and Excitotoxic Damage at the Hair Cell Ribbon Synapse.
Sebe, J.Y., Cho, S., Sheets, L., Rutherford, M.A., von Gersdorff, H., Raible, D.W.
Date: 2017
Source: The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience   37(25): 6162-6175 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Raible, David, Sheets, Lavinia
Keywords: cochlear synaptopathy, excitotoxicity, GCaMP, noise overexposure, zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Calcium/metabolism*
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena/physiology
  • Female
  • Glutamic Acid/physiology*
  • Hair Cells, Auditory/physiology*
  • Male
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Presynaptic Terminals/physiology
  • Rana catesbeiana
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, AMPA/metabolism*
  • Synapses/physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission/physiology*
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 28539424 Full text @ J. Neurosci.
We report functional and structural evidence for GluA2-lacking Ca2+-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs) at the mature hair cell ribbon synapse. By using the methodological advantages of three species (of either sex), we demonstrate that CP-AMPARs are present at the hair cell synapse in an evolutionarily conserved manner. Via a combination of in vivo electrophysiological and Ca2+ imaging approaches in the larval zebrafish, we show that hair cell stimulation leads to robust Ca2+ influx into afferent terminals. Prolonged application of AMPA caused loss of afferent terminal responsiveness, whereas blocking CP-AMPARs protects terminals from excitotoxic swelling. Immunohistochemical analysis of AMPAR subunits in mature rat cochlea show regions within synapses lacking the GluA2 subunit. Paired recordings from adult bullfrog auditory synapses demonstrate that CP-AMPARs mediate a major component of glutamatergic transmission. Together, our results support the importance of CP-AMPARs in mediating transmission at the hair cell ribbon synapse. Further, excess Ca2+ entry via CP-AMPARs may underlie afferent terminal damage following excitotoxic challenge, suggesting that limiting Ca2+ levels in the afferent terminal may protect against cochlear synaptopathy associated with hearing loss.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A single incidence of noise overexposure causes damage at the hair cell synapse that later leads to neurodegeneration and exacerbates age-related hearing loss. A first step toward understanding cochlear neurodegeneration is to identify the cause of initial excitotoxic damage to the postsynaptic neuron. Using a combination of immunohistochemical, electrophysiological, and Ca2+ imaging approaches in evolutionarily divergent species, we demonstrate that Ca2+-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs) mediate glutamatergic transmission at the adult auditory hair cell synapse. Overexcitation of the terminal causes Ca2+ accumulation and swelling that can be prevented by blocking CP-AMPARs. We demonstrate that CP-AMPARs mediate transmission at this first-order sensory synapse and that limiting Ca2+ accumulation in the terminal may protect against hearing loss.