Charge displacement induced by rapid stretch in the basolateral membrane of the guinea-pig outer hair cell

Proc Biol Sci. 1994 Mar 22;255(1344):243-9. doi: 10.1098/rspb.1994.0035.


The properties of the basolateral membrane of cochlear outer hair cells were studied under whole-cell patch clamp to measure currents and capacitance changes associated with mechanical deformation. Stretching the membrane of outer hair cells along the cell axis generated a transient inward current, and subsequent relaxation of the membrane produced a similar transient outward current. These mechanically activated currents were velocity dependent with a mean sensitivity of 29 pA s mm-1. Unlike ionic currents, these currents did not reverse, but reached a peak magnitude at -33 mV. Stretching the cell also resulted in a measurable capacitance decrease of 0.3-1.1 pF microns-1. These results suggest that membrane stretch can induce a rapid charge movement resulting from the reversal of the electromechanical transduction process in outer hair cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Electric Conductivity / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Electrophysiology / methods
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hair Cells, Auditory, Outer / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mathematics
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Models, Neurological
  • Stress, Mechanical