October 29, 2020

Loud noise exposure differentially affects subpopulations of auditory cortex pyramidal cells

Loud noise-exposure generates tinnitus in both humans and animals. Macroscopic studies show that noise exposure affects the auditory cortex; however, cellular mechanisms of tinnitus generation are unclear. Here we compare membrane properties of layer 5 (L5) pyramidal cells (PCs) of the primary auditory cortex (A1) from control and noise-exposed mice. PCs were previously classified in type A or type B based on connectivity and firing properties. Our analysis based on a logistic regression model predicted that afterhyperpolatization and afterdepolarization following the injection of inward and outward current are enough to predict cell type and these features are preserved after noise trauma. One week after a noise-exposure (4-18kHz, 90dB, 1.5 hr, followed by 1.5hr silence) no passive membrane properties of type A or B PCs were altered but principal component analysis showed greater separation between control/noise-exposure recordings for type A neurons. When comparing individual firing properties, noise exposure differentially affected type A and B PC firing frequency in response to depolarizing current steps. Specifically, type A PCs decreased both initial and steady state firing frequency and type B PCs significantly increased steady state firing frequency following noise exposure. These results show that loud noise can cause distinct effects on type A and B L5 auditory cortex PCs one week following noise exposure. As the type A PC electrophysiological profile is correlated to corticofugal L5 neurons, and type B PCs correlate to contralateral projecting PCs these alterations could partially explain the reorganization of the auditory cortex observed in tinnitus patients.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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