Excised apical or middle cochlear turns were viewed through a water-immersion objective (Zeiss 40× or 63×) on a Zeiss Axioskop FS microscope. The chamber was perfused with artificial perilymph of composition (in mM): 150 NaCl, 6 KCl, 1.5 CaCl2, 2 Na-pyruvate, 8 D-glucose, and 10 Na-HEPES (pH 7.4), osmolarity 315 mOsm/kg−1. The effect of endolymph was examined by changing the solution around
the hair bundle using a nearby puffer pipette to one containing (mM): 155 KCl, 0.02 CaCl2 (buffered with 4 HEDTA), 2 Na-pyruvate, 8 D-glucose, and 10 K-HEPES selleck products (pH 7.4). Endolymph Ca2+ has been reported to be between 0.02 Proteases inhibitor and 0.04 mM (Bosher and Warren, 1978 and Salt et al., 1989). The puffer pipette was positioned about 30 μm from the target and aimed approximately along the cochlear
axis so the flow did not directly stimulate the bundle. The flow was also away from the small hole in the reticular lamina through which the recording electrode was introduced so it is unlikely that the solution gained access to the OHC’s basolateral membrane. To ensure that the solution was fully replaced, the flow was continued until the holding current had increased to a steady state (usually taking 10–20 s) prior to running the stimulation protocol. Recordings were made from first or second row OHCs using borosilicate patch either electrodes connected to an
Axopatch 200A amplifier and currents were low-pass filtered at the amplifier output at 10 kHz and digitized at 100 kHz. Patch electrodes were filled with an intracellular solution containing (mM): 125 KCl, 3.5 MgCl2, 5 Na2ATP, 0.5 GTP, 10 Tris phosphocreatine, 1 BAPTA, 10 K-HEPES (pH 7.2), osmolarity 295 mOsm/kg−1. BAPTA (1 mM) was used as the intracellular Ca2+ buffer as it most closely approximates the native buffer (Beurg et al., 2010). No significant apex to base gradient in the Ca2+ buffer concentration has been reported (Hackney et al., 2005) so the same BAPTA concentration was used for all CFs. In recording from older (P15–P19) animals, intracellular chloride was reduced to minimize OHC contractions by replacing the 140 KCl with 130 K-aspartate plus 10 KCl. The locations of the apical, middle and a few basal turn recordings (Figure S1) correspond in vivo to mean CFs of 4, 10, and 20 kHz respectively for P21 animals (Müller, 1991). Because there is a continued expansion of the high frequency range into the adult for both rat and gerbil (Müller, 1991; 1996), CFs were taken from frequency maps at P21.