Glutamate Signaling in the Auditory Brainstem

  • Jason Tait SanchezEmail author
  • Yong Lu
Part of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research book series (SHAR, volume 64)


Glutamate signaling in the auditory brainstem is a dynamic process. It involves the perfect coordination of pre- and postsynaptic factors that reliably permit the transfer of information between neurons. When compared to other brain regions, glutamate signaling in the auditory brainstem is unique in that it provides the initial mechanisms underlying the perception of behaviorally relevant communication signals. Disruptions in such mechanisms are thought to underlie several hearing-related disorders. Relying on the foundation of work by Dr. Edwin Rubel and colleagues, this chapter offers a conceptual overview of factors that regulate glutamate signaling in the auditory brainstem, as well as determinants responsible for development, activity-dependent regulation, pathophysiology, and neuromodulation.


AMPA receptor Cochlear nucleus Heterosynaptic modulation Homeostasis Homosynaptic modulation Inferior colliculus Intracellular calcium concentration Long-term synaptic plasticity Metabotropic glutamate receptor Neural development NMDA receptor Short-term synaptic plasticity Superior olivary complex Synaptic transmission 



Intracellular free calcium concentration


α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor


Action potential


Anteroventral cochlear nucleus


Cochlear nucleus


Central nervous system


Dorsal cochlear nucleus


Excitatory postsynaptic current


Excitatory postsynaptic potential


γ-Aminobutyric acid receptor


G protein–coupled receptor


Inferior colliculus


Ionotropic glutamate receptors


Interaural level difference


Inhibitory postsynaptic current


Interaural time difference


Lateral superior olive


Long-term depression


Long-term potentiation


Metabotropic glutamate receptor


Medial nucleus of trapezoid body


Medial superior olive


Nucleus laminaris


Cochlear nucleus magnocellularis


Ν-Methyl-d-aspartate receptor


Superior olivary complex




Ventral cochlear nucleus


Voltage-gated calcium channel


Compliance with Ethics Requirements

Jason Tait Sanchez declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Yong Lu declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, The Hugh Knowles Hearing Research Center, and Department of Neurobiology and the Interdepartmental Neuroscience ProgramNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyNortheast Ohio Medical UniversityRootstownUSA

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