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Long-term plasticity of ipsilesional medial vestibular nucleus neurons after unilateral labyrinthectomy.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Neurophysiology
Publisher
American Physiological Society
Publication Date
Jul 04, 2003
Volume
90
Issue
1
Pages
184–203
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1152/jn.01140.2002
PMID: 12649317
Source
USPC - SET - SVS
License
Green

Abstract

Unilateral labyrinthectomy results in oculomotor and postural disturbances that regress in a few days during vestibular compensation. The long-term (after 1 mo) consequences of unilateral labyrinthectomy were investigated by characterizing the static and dynamic membrane properties of the ipsilesional vestibular neurons recorded intracellularly in guinea pig brain stem slices. We compared the responses of type A and type B medial vestibular nucleus neurons identified in vitro to current steps and ramps and to sinusoidal currents of various frequencies. All ipsilesional vestibular neurons were depolarized by 6-10 mV at rest compared with the cells recorded from control slices. Both their average membrane potential and firing threshold were more depolarized, which suggests that changes in active conductances compensated for the loss of excitatory afferents. The afterhyperpolarization and discharge regularity of type B but not type A neurons were increased. All ipsilesional vestibular cells became more sensitive to current injections over a large range of frequencies (0.2-30 Hz), but this increase in sensitivity was greater for type B than for type A neurons. This was associated with an increase of the peak frequency of linear response restricted to type B neurons, from 4-6 to 12-14 Hz. Altogether, we show that long-term vestibular compensation involves major changes in the membrane properties of vestibular neurons on the deafferented side. Many of the static and dynamic membrane properties of type B neurons became more similar to those of type A neurons than in control slices, leading to an increase in the overall homogeneity of medial vestibular nucleus neurons.

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