Gentamicin abolishes all cochlear effects of electrical stimulation of the inferior colliculus

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    Abstract

    Electrical stimulation of the inferior colliculus (IC) has been shown to result in suppression of cochlear output, due to activation of the medial olivocochlear system. This auditory efferent system originates in the brainstem and terminates on the outer hair cells in the cochlea. Recently, excitatory effects of IC stimulation have also been reported, both on cochlear gross potentials and on primary auditory afferents. It has been hypothesized that this excitation is due to co-activation of the lateral olivocochlear system, which synapses on the primary auditory afferent fibres contacting the inner hair cells. If stimulation of the IC leads to the activation of both the medial and lateral olivocochlear system, resulting in a mixture of inhibitory and excitatory effects in the cochlea, then removal of the inhibitory effects, by blocking the medial system, should lead to more pronounced excitatory effects out in the periphery. To investigate this hypothesis, we recorded the effect of IC stimulation on cochlear gross potentials as well as on single auditory primary afferents in guinea pigs following block of the medial olivocochlear system with gentamicin. We found that administration of gentamicin, whether intraperitoneally or by intracochlear perfusion, blocked all effects of IC stimulation, whether inhibitory or excitatory. These data strongly suggest that all effects observed after IC stimulation, both inhibitory as well as excitatory, are due to the activation of the medial olivocochlear system.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-44
    JournalExperimental Brain Research
    Volume174
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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