Changes in the Inferior Colliculus Associated with Hearing Loss: Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, Age-Related Hearing Loss, Tinnitus and Hyperacusis
Alan R. Palmer and Joel I. Berger
The inferior colliculus is an important auditory relay center that undergoes fundamental changes following hearing loss, whether noise induced (NIHL) or age related (ARHL). These changes may contribute to the induction or maintenance of phenomena such as tinnitus (phantom auditory sensations) and hyperacusis (increased sensitivity to sound). Here, we outline changes that can occur in the inferior colliculus following damage to the periphery and/or as a result of the ageing process, both immediate and long-term, and attempt to disentangle which changes relate to either tinnitus or hyperacusis, as opposed to solely hearing loss. Understanding these changes is ultimately important to reversing the underlying pathology and treating these conditions.
Reception of chemicals via olfaction and gustation are prerequisites to find, distinguish, and recognize food and mates and to avoid dangers. Several receptor gene superfamilies are employed in arthropod chemosensation: inverse 7-transmembrane (7-TM) gustatory and olfactory receptors (GRs, ORs), 3-TM ionotropic glutamate-related receptors (IRs), receptor-guanylyl cyclases, transient receptor potential ion channels, and epithelial sodium channels. Some of these receptor gene families have ancient origins and expanded in several taxa, producing very large, variant gene families adapted to the respectively relevant odor ligands in species-specific environments. Biochemical and electrophysiological studies in situ as well as molecular genetics found evidence for G-protein-dependent signal transduction cascades for ORs, GRs, and IRs, suggesting that signal amplification is paramount for chemical senses. In contrast, heterologous expression studies argued for primarily ionotropic transduction as a prerequisite to interstimulus intervals in the range of microseconds.
Taesun Eom, Ilham A. Muslimov, Anna Iacoangeli, and Henri Tiedge
This chapter reviews current developments in the area of translational control in neurons. It focuses on the activity-dependent translational modulation by neuronal regulatory RNAs, including underlying interactions with eukaryotic initiation factors (eIFs), and on the role of such modulation in locally controlled protein synthesis in synapto-dendritic domains. It highlights the role of dendritic RNA targeting as a key prerequisite of local translation at the synapse and discusses the significance of these mechanisms in the expression of higher brain functions, including learning, memory, and cognition. The chapter concludes with discussion of anticipated future work to continue to elucidate these mechanisms and provide advances in the area of translational regulation in neurons and our understanding of how translational dysregulation contributes to neurological and cognitive disorders.
Leonard K. Kaczmarek
All neurons express a subset of over seventy genes encoding potassium channel subunits. These channels have been studied in auditory neurons, particularly in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body. The amplitude and kinetics of various channels in these neurons can be modified by the auditory environment. It has been suggested that such modulation is an adaptation of neuronal firing patterns to specific patterns of auditory inputs. Alternatively, such modulation may allow a group of neurons, all expressing the same set of channels, to represent a variety of responses to the same pattern of incoming stimuli. Such diversity would ensure that a small number of genetically identical neurons could capture and encode many aspects of complex sound, including rapid changes in timing and amplitude. This review covers the modulation of ion channels in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body and how it may maximize the extraction of auditory information.
Martin Wallner, Anne Kerstin Lindemeyer, and Richard W. Olsen
GABAA receptors (GABAARs) are the main inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors and mediate rapid synaptic as well as slow extrasynaptic inhibitory neurotransmission. Structurally, GABAARs are ligand-gated ion channels formed by a total of 19 homologous subunits, each with four transmembrane domains assembled as pentamers, forming a GABA-gated Cl– channels. The major classical synaptic GABAAR subtypes are formed by 2α2β and a γ subunit, with six different possible α subunits, three different β subunits, and three γ subunits, with the most abundant subtype, α1β2γ2 receptors. More recently, highly GABA-sensitive extrasynaptic δ subunit-containing receptors that are persistently (tonically) activated by low ambient levels of GABA have entered the limelight. GABAARs are targets for sedative/hypnotic and anxiolytic drugs (e.g., benzodiazepines [BZs] and other BZ site ligands), as well as general anesthetics (e.g., etomidate, propofol, barbiturate, and neurosteroid anesthetics, and possibly volatile agents and long-chain alcohols), and also are important targets for alcohol actions.
The main function of brains is to generate adaptive behavior. Far from being the stereotypical, robot-like insect, the fruit fly Drosophila exhibits astounding flexibility and chooses different courses of actions even under identical external circumstances. Due to the power of genetics, we now are beginning to understand the neuronal mechanisms underlying this behavioral flexibility. Interestingly, the evidence from studies of disparate behaviors converges on common organizational principles common to many if not all behaviors, such as modified sensory processing, involvement of biogenic amines in network remodeling, ongoing activity, and modulation by feedback. Seemingly foreseeing these recent insights, the first research fields in Drosophila behavioral neurogenetics reflected this constant negotiation between internal and external demands on the animal as the common mechanism underlying adaptive behavioral choice in Drosophila.
Willy Carrasquel-Ursulaez, Yenisleidy Lorenzo, Felipe Echeverria, and Ramon Latorre
The Slowpoke (Slo) family of large conductance K+ channels comprises four structurally and functionally related members (Slo1, Slo2.1, Slo2.2, and Slo3). With the exception of Slo3, all Slo channels are expressed in neurons, where their diverse functions include influencing the shape, frequency, and propagation of action potentials, as well as neurotransmitter release. The Slo1 channel (KCa1.1; KCNMA1, BK) is Ca2+- and voltage-activated, while the two Slo2 channels, Slo2.1 (KNa1.2, KCNT2, Slick) and Slo2.2 (KNa1.1, KCNT1, Slack), are activated by internal Na+. The functional diversity of the Slo family is greatly increased through alternative splicing, metabolic regulation, and the formation of heterotetramers (Slo2 channels). Co-expression of the pore-forming α subunit of Slo1 with its accessory subunits β and γ further increases channel diversity. This chapter focuses on the role of the Slo channel family in neurons under both physiological and pathological conditions.
Jiaxing Li and Catherine A. Collins
In the face of acute or chronic axonal damage, neurons and their axons undergo a number of molecular, cellular, and morphological changes. These changes facilitate two types of responses, axonal degeneration and regeneration, both of which are remarkably conserved in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Invertebrate model organisms, including Drosophila and C. elegans, have offered a powerful platform with accessible genetic tools for manipulation and amenable nervous system for visualization. Thus far, several critical components and pathways in axonal degeneration and regeneration have been identified in invertebrate studies, including Sarm and Wallenda/DLK. This article highlights important findings in Drosophila, C. elegans, and other invertebrate injury models that have shed light upon the mechanism in axonal injury response.
Lynne A. Fieber
This chapter introduces working definitions of neuropeptides and neurotransmitters from the perspective of invertebrate physiological processes. Neuropeptides and neurotransmitters are intercellular chemical signaling agents used by all animals. Chemical signaling augments or substitutes for electrical communication in the nervous system. When these agents act as neurotransmitters, they convert electrical signals to chemical signals across the synapse. As hormones, they circulate from a site of release to act at a more distant site in the body of the organism. Neuropeptides and neurotransmitters are classified into these groups mostly on the basis of their molecular size. This article describes several neuropeptide superfamilies and their wide scope of actions in model invertebrates. The article also describes the main neurotransmitters used by invertebrates.
Roger L. Papke
Acetylcholine, exquisitely evolved as a neurotransmitter, is made and released by the neurons that take the integrated output of the central nervous system throughout the body. At both neuromuscular junctions and autonomic ganglia, acetylcholine activates synaptic ion channels that take their name from the plant alkaloid nicotine, which is a mimic of the natural neurotransmitter. This chapter begins with the scientific discoveries related to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) of the neuromuscular junction and how resulting insights led to an understanding of the fundamentals of synaptic transmission. The nAChR are one member of a superfamily of ligand-gated ion channels, and although in the brain excitatory neurotransmission is mediated by another family of synaptic receptors that are gated by glutamate, nicotinic receptors are important modulators of brain function and significant targets for drug development. In the brain, nAChR are targets for cognitive disorders and, tragically, responsible for tobacco addiction.