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Empreinte développementale des cellules sensorielles auditives

Abstract : During development, the sensory cells of the cochlea, the inner hair cells (IHCs), fire spontaneous calcium action potentials. This spontaneous spiking activity at the pre-hearing stage allows the IHCs to automatically stimulate the auditory nerve fibers and hence, ensures the proper shaping of the tonotopic organization along the ascending auditory pathway. Spontaneous spiking patterns may depend on the IHCs position on the cochlea (the tonotopic axis). Those patterns may also rely on ATP secretion from neighboring supporting cells. In this study, we used calcium imaging in the immature neuro-sensory epithelium of the cochlea, the Kölliker´s organ, to gain insights in the IHCs spiking activity. After loading the Kölliker´s organ with the calcium dye fura-2 AM, propagation of spontaneous calcium waves was readily observed across supporting and sensory cells. Both basal and apical IHCs were characterized by similar spontaneous calcium transients interspaced with silent periods, reminiscent of bursts of action potential recorded in patch-clamp. In addition, neighboring cells show a strong degree of synchronous activity. Incubation with apyrase, which hydrolyzes ATP, prevents the spontaneous calcium increase that propagates across the supporting cells within the Kölliker's organ. However, it leaves the spontaneous calcium transients in IHCs mostly unaffected. All these results show that the tonotopic map refinement in higher auditory centers comes from a coordinated activity of neighboring sensory cells, whose activity seems to be independent of ATP
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Anne-Gabrielle Harrus. Empreinte développementale des cellules sensorielles auditives. Sciences agricoles. Université Montpellier, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018MONTT087⟩. ⟨tel-02053416⟩

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