High frequency firing is a central characteristic of signal processing in the auditory brainstem circuitry and involves tight regulation of the action potential as well as the excitability of the neurons. The excitability is determined by the resting membrane potential of the neuron, which is mainly set by two-pore-potassium channels (K2P channels). Although this mechanism is general to all neurons, auditory brainstem neurons specifically express the K2P channel subunit TASK5. However, the function of TASK5 is unknown. In this project, we aim at elucidating the role of TASK5 in the regulation of neuronal excitability and high frequency firing at two kinds of auditory neurons: the globular bushy cells in the ventral cochlear nucleus and the principal neurons of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body, both of which are connected via the calyx of Held giant synapse.
A Priority Project of