ATP acts as a neuro-modulator through purinoceptors in many different tissues. Many subtypes of these receptors have been identified in the inner ear, but so far only two types have been shown to be present in the membrane of the isolated outer hair cells (OHCs). The aim of this study was to detect and visualize the existence and distribution of purinoceptor subtypes as well as to study the [Ca2+]i response of these cells in response to stimulation with ATP. Four P2X and three P2Y receptor subtypes were identified with different expression pattern in the membrane of guinea pig outer hair cells. Whereas intense labeling was observed for P2X1, P2X2, P2X4, P2Y1, P2Y2, and P2Y4, the labeling for the subtype P2X7 was weak. There was a marked difference in the distribution of the receptors along the surface of the cells with a homogenous distribution in cases of P2X1, P2X4, and P2Y1. In contrast, P2X2 and P2Y2 receptor density was high mainly at the apical, while P2X7 and P2Y4 at the basal pole of the cells. Similarly a heterogeneity was observed in the ATP-induced transient elevation in [Ca2+]i, which had either fast kinetics without desensitization or slow rise with desensitization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems