Ionic currents in hair cells dissociated from frog semicircular canals after preconditioning under microgravity conditions.
Martini, Marta ; Canella, Rita ; Leparulo, Alessandro ; et al. ; - ASI Sponsor
May - 2009
ISSN : 0363-6119 ;
journal : American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology

Issue : 5
type: Article Journal

The effects of microgravity on the biophysical properties of frog labyrinthine hair cells have been examined by analyzing calcium and potassium currents in isolated cells by the patch-clamp technique. The entire, anesthetized frog was exposed to vector-free gravity in a random positioning machine (RPM) and the functional modification induced on single hair cells, dissected from the crista ampullaris, were subsequently studied in vitro. The major targets of microgravity exposure were the calcium/potassium current system and the kinetic mechanism of the fast transient potassium current, I(A). The amplitude of I(Ca) was significantly reduced in microgravity-conditioned cells. The delayed current, I(KD) (a complex of I(KV) and I(KCa)), was drastically reduced, mostly in its I(KCa) component. Microgravity also affected I(KD) kinetics by shifting the steady-state inactivation curve toward negative potentials and increasing the sensitivity of inactivation removal to voltage. As concerns the I(A), the I-V and steady-state inactivation curves were indistinguishable under normogravity or microgravity conditions; conversely, I(A) decay systematically displayed a two-exponential time course and longer time constants in microgravity, thus potentially providing a larger K(+) charge; furthermore, I(A) inactivation removal at -70 mV was slowed down. Stimulation in the RPM machine under normogravity conditions resulted in minor effects on I(KD) and, occasionally, incomplete I(A) inactivation at -40 mV. Reduced calcium influx and increased K(+) repolarizing charge, to variable extents depending on the history of membrane potential, constitute a likely cause for the failure in the afferent mEPSP discharge at the cytoneural junction observed in the intact labyrinth after microgravity conditioning.

keywords : Animal,Animals,Auditory,Auditory: cytology,Auditory: metabolism,Calcium Channels,Calcium Channels: metabolism,Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials,Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials: physiology,Hair Cells,Membrane Potentials,Membrane Potentials: physiology,Models,Patch-Clamp Techniques,Potassium Channels,Potassium Channels: metabolism,Rana esculenta,Rana esculenta: physiology,Semicircular Canals,Semicircular Canals: metabolism,Weightlessness