Intracellular recordings from cochlear outer hair cells

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Science  05 Nov 1982:
Vol. 218, Issue 4572, pp. 582-584
DOI: 10.1126/science.7123260


Intracellular recordings were made from outer hair cells in the third turn of the guinea pig cochlea, and the electrical characteristics of the cells were compared to those of inner hair cells, supporting cells, and extracellular spaces from the same recording region. Outer hair cells have higher membrane potentials than do inner hair cells, but they produce smaller a-c receptor potentials. The frequency response characteristics of both types of hair cells are probably not significantly different. In the frequency region where tuning is optimal, both cell types produce depolarizing d-c receptor potentials, but outer hair cells also generate hyperpolarizing responses at low frequencies.