Research reveals new mechanism that regulates auditory sensitivity
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A brand new research printed in PNAS highlights a newly recognized mechanism of how auditory sensitivity is regulated that would quickly cut back sensitivity of the auditory system to guard itself from loud sounds that may trigger irreversible harm.

The research, led by CU Anschutz researchers Andrew Mecca and Giusy Caprara within the laboratory of Anthony Peng, examined a decades-old speculation which proposed that the gating spring, a tiny, nanometer-scale protein construction which mechanically opens and closes an ion channel in sensory hair cell cells in response to sound vibrations, can act immediately as a controller of the channel’s exercise.

Previous work within the auditory area has targeted totally on understanding mechanisms which goal the ion channel. This research gives the primary proof that the gating spring itself has the capability to modulate the sensitivity of the channel.

This research paperwork the primary time we perceive a mechanism that regulates auditory sensitivity on each the molecular and mechanical ranges. We uncovered a brand new mechanism of modulating sensitivity, which opens the door to discovering extra about how the auditory system features typically and makes use of this to each maximize the vary of sounds that we are able to detect and shield the important sensory cells from potential harm.”

Anthony Peng, Ph.D., affiliate professor on the University of Colorado School of Medicine and senior writer of the research

The mechanism mentioned within the research works by modifying a bodily property of the gating spring, its stiffness, which is chargeable for controlling how a lot the channel opens and closes in response to sound vibrations that enter the inside ear. The researchers studied the properties of the gating spring and the ensuing exercise of the channel in single sensory hair cells, and located that cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), a selected kind of signaling molecule, decreased the stiffness of the gating spring and decreased the channel’s sensitivity – which is the primary time a physiological mechanism for controlling gating spring stiffness has been recognized.

“Identifying the underlying mechanism of this process – how it works physiologically and mechanically, provides an avenue for future research and provides an opportunity for the field to develop a new type of drug that can be used to prevent a type of hearing loss that occurs from exposure to very loud sound,” says Peng. Ultimately, they goal to study extra about how the ear can detect such a wide range of sounds and the way the system protects itself, and this represents an enormous step ahead for the sphere.


Journal reference:

Mecca, A.A., et al. (2022) cAMP and voltage modulate rat auditory mechanotransduction by reducing the stiffness of gating springs. PNAS.

Posted in: Medical Science News | Medical Research News

Tags: Adenosine, cAMP, Cell, Ear, Hair, Hearing, Hearing Loss, Ion, Ion Channel, Laboratory, Medicine, Molecule, pH, Protein, Research

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