Enzymatically isolated type I spiral ganglion neurons of the guinea pig have been investigated in the present study. The identity of the cells was confirmed by using anti-neuron-specific enolase immunostaining. The presence and shredding of the myelin sheath was also documented by employing anti-S100 immunoreaction. The membrane characteristics of the cells were studied by using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. The whole-cell capacitance of the cells was 9 ± 2 pF (n = 51), while the resting membrane potential of the cells was -62 ± 9 mV (n = 19). When suprathreshold depolarizing stimuli were applied, the neurons fired a single action potential at the beginning of the stimulation. It was confirmed in this study that type I spiral ganglion cells possess a hyperpolarization-activated nonspecific cationic current (I h). The major characteristics of this current component were unaffected by the enzyme treatment. Type I spiral ganglion cells also expressed various depolarization-activated K+ current components. A high-threshold outward current was sensitive to 1-10 mM TEA+ application. The ganglion cells also expressed a relatively small, but nevertheless present, transient outward current component which was less sensitive to TEA+ but could be inhibited by 100 μM 4-aminopyridine. A DTX-I-sensitive current was responsible for some 30% of the total outward current (at 0 mV), showed rapid activation at membrane potentials positive to -50 mV and demonstrated very little inactivation. However, inhibition of the highly 4-AP- or DTX-I-sensitive component did not alter the rapidly inactivating nature of the firing pattern of the cells.
- Action potentials
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