The cochlear amplifier: Is it hair bundle motion of outer hair cells?

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Cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs) are involved in a mechanical feedback loop in which the fast somatic motility of OHCs is required for cochlear amplification. Alternatively, amplification is thought to arise from active hair bundle movements observed in non-mammalian hair cells. We measured the voltage-evoked hair bundle motions in the gerbil cochlea to determine if such movements are also present in mammalian OHCs. The OHCs displayed a large hair bundle movement that was not based on mechanotransducer channels but based on somatic motility. Significantly, bundle movements were able to generate radial motion of the tectorial membrane in situ. This result implies that the motility-associated hair bundle motion may be part of the cochlear amplifier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-72
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Otology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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