Synaptic organization of eighth nerve afferents to cat dorsal cochlear nucleus

J Neurophysiol. 1983 Nov;50(5):1156-81. doi: 10.1152/jn.1983.50.5.1156.


The synaptic organization of eighth nerve afferents to the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) of cats was studied using extracellular field potential analyses. The eighth nerve was electrically stimulated and potentials produced in the DCN characterized using single shocks, paired shocks, repetitive stimulation, and one-dimensional current source-density (CSD) analysis. Field potentials and CSD profiles were correlated with the laminated cytoarchitecture of the DCN. At least four major temporally discrete components can be identified in field potentials evoked by a single shock to the eighth nerve. The amplitude and polarity of these events depends on the layers in which they are recorded. A brief positive-negative deflection (the P1-N1) is present in all layers but is maximal in the deeper layers 3 and 4. The N1 has a peak latency of approximately 0.8 ms in these layers. The N1 in the deep layers is followed by a large negative potential, termed the N2, with a peak latency of about 1.6 ms. In the superficial layers (1 and 2), the N1 is followed by a small positive potential (the P2) occurring nearly simultaneously with the N2, Immediately following the N2 is another negative potential that is most clearly observed in layer 2. The layer 2 negative wave is termed N3 and is also identifiable on the repolarizing phase of the N2 in layers 3 and 4. The N3 in layer 2 can be followed by a positive potential, the P4. Simultaneous with the P4 is a small negative wave ion layer 1, termed the N4. The P4-N4 complex is observed in about half the recordings. Frequency-following tests indicate that both the N1 and N2 waves can follow shock trains up to 333 Hz. The N1 remains nearly constant in amplitude up to about 300 Hz and decreases as the stimulus frequency is raised to 500 Hz. The N2 decrements more rapidly than the N1 at frequencies above about 250 Hz and is considerably reduced at 500 Hz. The N2 sometimes shows an increased amplitude (by about 20-40%) between 100 and 250 Hz. A paired-shock paradigm was used to characterize further potentials. The N1 was little affected by prior stimulation for intervals greater than 5 ms. The N2 and N3 generally showed a small facilitation for shock intervals from about 7 to 30 ms, with a return to base line at longer intervals. The N4 and P4 (when present) were profoundly depressed for intervals from 7 to about 30 ms, with recovery to control values by 50 ms.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cochlear Nerve / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve / physiology*