Pigeon vestibular semicircular canal type II hair cells often exhibit voltage oscillations following current steps that depolarize the cell membrane from its resting potential. Currents active around the resting membrane potential and most likely responsible for the observed resonant behavior are the Ca++-insensitive, inactivating potassium conductance IA (A-current) and delayed rectifier potassium conductance IK. Several equivalent circuits are considered as representative of the hair cell membrane behavior, sufficient to explain and quantitatively fit the observed voltage oscillations. In addition to the membrane capacitance and frequency-independent parallel conductance, a third parallel element whose admittance function is of second order is necessary to describe and accurately predict all of the experimentally obtained current and voltage responses. Even though most voltage oscillations could be fitted by an equivalent circuit in which the second order admittance term is overdamped (i.e., represents a type of current with two time constants, one of activation and the other of inactivation), the sharpest quality resonance obtained with small current steps (around 20 pA) from the resting potential could be satisfactorily fit only by an underdamped term.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science(all)