Voltage-dependent channels in outer hair cells (OHCs) dissociated from the guinea pig cochlea were investigated by the use of a whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Two types of K+ current were recorded from OHCs. One was a slowly inactivating K+ current that was activated at a potential more positive than -30 mV. Another is a K+ current that was already activated at resting membrane potential. After suppressing both K+ currents, depolarizing voltage steps elicited a slowly inactivating inward current that was dependent on external Ca2+ and was indicative of an L-type Ca2+ channel in OHCs. Aminoglycoside antibiotics known to be ototoxic selectively inhibited the Ca2+ current.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes