Spontaneous neural hyperactivity in the central auditory pathway is often associated with deafness, the most common form of which is partial hearing loss. We quantified both peripheral hearing loss and spontaneous activity in single neurons of the contralateral inferior colliculus in a guinea-pig model 1 week after a unilateral partial deafness induced by cochlear mechanical lesion. We also measured mRNA levels of candidate genes in the same animals using quantitative real-time PCR. Spontaneous hyperactivity was most marked in the frequency region of the peripheral hearing loss. Expression of glutamate decarboxylase 1 (GAD1), GABA-A receptor subunit alpha-1 (GABRA1), and potassium channel subfamily K member 15 (KCNK15) was decreased ipsilaterally in the cochlear nucleus and bilaterally in the inferior colliculus. A member of RAB family of small GTPase (RAB3A) was decreased in both ipsilateral cochlear nucleus and contralateral inferior colliculus. RAB3 GTPase activating protein subunit 1 (RAB3GAP1) and glycine receptor subunit alpha-1 (GLRA1) were reduced ipsilaterally in the cochlear nucleus only. These results suggest that a decrease in inhibitory neurotransmission and an increase in membrane excitability may contribute to elevated neuronal spontaneous activity in the auditory brainstem following unilateral partial hearing loss.
|Publication status||Published - 2009|