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The present report describes the physiology and anatomy of 17 intracellularly recorded and …


Biology Articles » Anatomy & Physiology » Intracellularly Labeled Fusiform Cells in Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus of the Gerbil. II. Comparison of Physiology and Anatomy

Abstract
- Intracellularly Labeled Fusiform Cells in Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus of the Gerbil. II. Comparison of Physiology and Anatomy

Intracellularly Labeled Fusiform Cells in Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus of the Gerbil. II. Comparison of Physiology and Anatomy

Kenneth E. Hancock1 and Herbert F. Voigt1,2

 1Department of Biomedical Engineering and Hearing Research Center and  2Department of Otolaryngology, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215-2407

The Journal of Neurophysiology Vol. 87 No. 5 May 2002, pp. 2520-2530.

 

Abstract

Hancock, Kenneth E. and Herbert F. Voigt. Intracellularly Labeled Fusiform Cells in Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus of the Gerbil. II. Comparison of Physiology and Anatomy. J. Neurophysiol. 87: 2520-2530, 2002. Fusiform cells represent the major class of dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) projection neuron. Although much is understood abouttheir physiology and anatomy, there remain unexplored issues withimportant functional implications. These include interspeciesdifferences in DCN physiology and the nature of the cell-to-cellvariations in fusiform cell physiology. To address these issues,a quantitative examination was made of the physiology and anatomyof 17 fusiform cells from a companion study. The results suggestthat the basal dendrites of gerbil fusiform cells may be electrotonicallymore compact than those of the cat. This relative decrease inthe filtering of excitatory inputs might account for the lowerincidence of type IV units in that species. These data also suggestthat the gerbil DCN lacks the high-frequency specialization describedin the cat, because the tonotopic arrangement of the gerbil fusiformcells quantitatively matches the place-frequency map for the gerbilcochlea. Certain physiological properties have anatomical correlates.First, the basal dendrites of low spontaneous rate cells are directedaway from the soma only in the caudal direction, while the highspontaneous rate cells have basal dendrites extending rostrallyand caudally. Second, input resistance was dominated by the surfacearea of the apical dendrite. Third, the discharge pattern wascorrelated with apical dendrite orientation. Finally, there wasa spatial gradient of sensitivity to broadband noise organizedat least partially within an isofrequency axis. Such trends indicatethat neighboring fusiform cells are endowed with different signalprocessingcapabilities. 


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