Neural Regeneration Research (2016-01-01)

Responses from two firing patterns in inferior colliculus neurons to stimulation of the lateral lemniscus dorsal nucleus

  • Xiao-ting Li,
  • Ning-yu Wang,
  • Yan-jun Wang,
  • Zhi-qing Xu,
  • Jin-feng Liu,
  • Yun-fei Bai,
  • Jin-sheng Dai,
  • Jing-yi Zhao

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 5
pp. 787 – 794


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The γ-aminobutyric acid neurons (GABAergic neurons) in the inferior colliculus are classified into various patterns based on their intrinsic electrical properties to a constant current injection. Although this classification is associated with physiological function, the exact role for neurons with various firing patterns in acoustic processing remains poorly understood. In the present study, we analyzed characteristics of inferior colliculus neurons in vitro, and recorded responses to stimulation of the dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus using the whole-cell patch clamp technique. Seven inferior colliculus neurons were tested and were classified into two firing patterns: sustained-regular (n = 4) and sustained-adapting firing patterns (n = 3). The majority of inferior colliculus neurons exhibited slight changes in response to stimulation and bicuculline. The responses of one neuron with a sustained-adapting firing pattern were suppressed after stimulation, but recovered to normal levels following application of the γ-aminobutyric acid receptor antagonist. One neuron with a sustained-regular pattern showed suppressed stimulation responses, which were not affected by bicuculline. Results suggest that GABAergic neurons in the inferior colliculus exhibit sustained-regular or sustained-adapting firing patterns. Additionally, GABAergic projections from the dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus to the inferior colliculus are associated with sound localization. The different neuronal responses of various firing patterns suggest a role in sound localization. A better understanding of these mechanisms and functions will provide better clinical treatment paradigms for hearing deficiencies.