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Electrochemical aspects of cations in the cochlear hair cell of the chinchilla: a cellular model of the ion movement

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The dc potential and ion composition (K+, Na+, and Ca++) in the hair cells of the cochlea were examined using ion-selective microelectrodes. The K+, Na+, and Ca++ concentrations were 124.0 ± 29.8 mM, 6.9 ± 4.1 mM, and 1.7 ± 1.4 μM in the hair cells, respectively. The electrochemical potential gradients for K+, Na+, and Ca++ across the apical membranes of the hair cells were calculated to be 160.0 ± 29.8 mV, 87.6 ± 27.0 mV, and 194.4 ± 35.2 mV, respectively. Those for K+, Na+, and Ca++ across the basolateral membranes of the hair cells were −12.6 ± 33.3 mV, 126.8 ± 28.3 mV, and 170.8 ± 30.1 mV, respectively. These findings were discussed in light of the transport mechanism necessary to maintain the ionic composition of hair cells.

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Correspondence to K. Ikeda.

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Ikeda, K., Morizono, T. Electrochemical aspects of cations in the cochlear hair cell of the chinchilla: a cellular model of the ion movement. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 247, 43–47 (1990).

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Key words

  • Hair cell
  • Ion concentration
  • do Potential
  • Ion transport mechanism
  • Microelectrode