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Magnusson, Anna K.; Kapfer, Christoph; Grothe, Benedikt ORCID: 0000-0001-7317-0615; Koch, Ursula (2005): Maturation of glycinergic inhibition in the gerbil medial superior olive after hearing onset. In: Journal of Physiology, Vol. 568, No. 2: pp. 497-512
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The neurones of the medial superior olive (MSO) are the most temporally sensitive neurones in the brain. They respond to the arrival time difference of sound at the two ears with a microsecond resolution;these interaural time differences are used to localize low-frequency sounds. In addition to the excitatory inputs from each ear, the MSO neurones also receive binaural glycinergic projections, which have a critical role in sound localization processing. Recently, it was shown that the glycinergic input to the MSO undergoes an experience-dependent structural reorganization after hearing onset. To explore the maturation of inhibition during the development of sound localization on a cellular level, glycinergic currents and potentials were measured in gerbil MSO principal cells from postnatal (P) day P12-P25 by whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. The synaptic glycinergic currents accelerated to rapid decay kinetics (similar to 2 ms) and rise times (similar to 0.4 ms) after hearing onset, reaching maturity around P17. Since the kinetics of miniature glycinergic currents did not change with age, it is likely that a higher degree of transmitter release synchrony is the underlying mechanism influencing the acceleration of the kinetics. During the same period, the synaptic glycinergic potentials accelerated four-fold, largely as a result of a prominent decrease in input resistance. In accordance with a reorganization of the glycinergic inputs, the evoked peak conductances decreased more than two-fold, together with a three-fold reduction in the frequency of miniature events after hearing onset. These age-dependent changes were absent in animals that had been reared in omni-directional noise, indicating that an experience-dependent pruning of synaptic inputs is important for the maturation of functional inhibition in the MSO. Taken together, these striking developmental adjustments of the glycinergic inhibition in the MSO most probably reflect an adaptation to improve the encoding of auditory cues with great temporal precision and fidelity during the maturation of sound localization behaviour.