Inwardly rectifying K+ currents in intermediate cells in the cochlea of gerbils: a possible contribution to the endocochlear potential.Neurosci Lett. 1998 May 15; 247(2-3):175-8.NL
The stria vascularis in the cochlea generates the endocochlear potential (EP) and secretes K+-rich endolymph; both are indispensable for normal sound transduction by hair cells. K+ conductance in the intermediate cell, one of the several types of cells constituting the stria vascularis, was investigated by the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Inwardly-rectifying K+ (Kir) currents were the major currents observed. The currents were inhibited dose-dependently by Ba2+, quinine, verapamil and Cs+, but not by tetraethylammonium (20 mM), 4-aminopyridine (5 mM) or Cd2+ (1 mM). The similarity between the effect of inhibitors on Kir currents and on the EP (Takeuchi et al., Hearing Res., 101 (1996) 181-185) suggests a direct contribution of the Kir conductance to the generation of the EP.