vestibular hair cells


Summary: Sensory cells in the acoustic maculae with their apical STEREOCILIA embedded in a gelatinous OTOLITHIC MEMBRANE. These hair cells are stimulated by the movement of otolithic membrane, and impulses are transmitted via the VESTIBULAR NERVE to the BRAIN STEM. Hair cells in the saccule and those in the utricle sense linear acceleration in vertical and horizontal directions, respectively.

Top Publications

  1. Lenzi D, Crum J, Ellisman M, Roberts W. Depolarization redistributes synaptic membrane and creates a gradient of vesicles on the synaptic body at a ribbon synapse. Neuron. 2002;36:649-59 pubmed
    ..We conclude that formation of new synaptic vesicles from cisterns is rate limiting in the vesicle cycle. ..
  2. Martini M, Farinelli F, Rossi M, Rispoli G. Ca2+ current of frog vestibular hair cells is modulated by intracellular ATP but not by long-lasting depolarisation. Eur Biophys J. 2007;36:779-86 pubmed
    ..The outward current waveform could be erroneously ascribed to a Ca- and/or voltage dependence of the Ca(2+) macrocurrent...
  3. Belyantseva I, Boger E, Friedman T. Myosin XVa localizes to the tips of inner ear sensory cell stereocilia and is essential for staircase formation of the hair bundle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003;100:13958-63 pubmed
    ..rat, and guinea pig, endogenous myosin XVa localizes to the tips of the stereocilia of the cochlear and vestibular hair cells. Myosin XVa localization overlaps with the barbed ends of actin filaments and extends to the apical plasma ..
  4. Nicolson T, Rusch A, Friedrich R, Granato M, Ruppersberg J, Nusslein Volhard C. Genetic analysis of vertebrate sensory hair cell mechanosensation: the zebrafish circler mutants. Neuron. 1998;20:271-83 pubmed
    ..The microphonics of lateral line hair cells of orbiter, mercury, and gemini larvae are absent or strongly reduced. Therefore, these genes may encode components of the transduction apparatus. ..
  5. Stauffer E, Scarborough J, Hirono M, Miller E, Shah K, Mercer J, et al. Fast adaptation in vestibular hair cells requires myosin-1c activity. Neuron. 2005;47:541-53 pubmed
    ..In frog and mouse vestibular hair cells, we found that the rate of fast adaptation depends on both channel opening and stimulus size and that it ..
  6. Almanza A, Navarrete F, Vega R, Soto E. Modulation of voltage-gated Ca2+ current in vestibular hair cells by nitric oxide. J Neurophysiol. 2007;97:1188-95 pubmed
    ..demonstrated that NO inhibits in a voltage-independent manner the voltage-activated Ca(2+) current in rat vestibular hair cells by the activation of a cGMP-signaling pathway and through a direct action on the channel protein by a S-..
  7. Sousa A, Andrade L, Salles F, Pillai A, Buttermore E, Bhat M, et al. The septate junction protein caspr is required for structural support and retention of KCNQ4 at calyceal synapses of vestibular hair cells. J Neurosci. 2009;29:3103-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results indicate that a septate-like junction provides structural support to calyceal synaptic contact with the vestibular hair cell and that Caspr is required for the recruitment or retention of KCNQ4 at these synapses. ..
  8. Li G, Kevetter G, Leonard R, Prusak D, Wood T, Correia M. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor subtype expression in avian vestibular hair cells, nerve terminals and ganglion cells. Neuroscience. 2007;146:384-402 pubmed publisher
    ..1) ionic currents in native vestibular hair cells. We have cloned and sequenced pigeon mAChR subtypes M2-M5 and we have studied the expression of all five ..
  9. Hackett L, Davies D, Helyer R, Kennedy H, Kros C, Lawlor P, et al. E-cadherin and the differentiation of mammalian vestibular hair cells. Exp Cell Res. 2002;278:19-30 pubmed
    ..Down-regulation of E-cadherin is thus likely to be a key element in the regeneration of hair cells. ..

More Information


  1. Lelli A, Perin P, Martini M, Ciubotaru C, Prigioni I, Valli P, et al. Presynaptic calcium stores modulate afferent release in vestibular hair cells. J Neurosci. 2003;23:6894-903 pubmed the presynaptic level, by monitoring changes in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) in vestibular hair cells, and, at the postsynaptic level, by recording from single posterior canal afferent fibers...
  2. Anderson D, Probst F, Belyantseva I, Fridell R, Beyer L, Martin D, et al. The motor and tail regions of myosin XV are critical for normal structure and function of auditory and vestibular hair cells. Hum Mol Genet. 2000;9:1729-38 pubmed
    ..Both the shaker 2 and shaker 2(J) alleles result in abnormally short hair cell stereocilia in the cochlear and vestibular systems. This suggests that Myo15 may be important for both the structure and function of these sensory epithelia. ..
  3. Rennie K, Weng T, Correia M. Effects of KCNQ channel blockers on K(+) currents in vestibular hair cells. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2001;280:C473-80 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that KCNQ channels may be present in amniote vestibular hair cells.
  4. Kikkawa Y, Mburu P, Morse S, Kominami R, Townsend S, Brown S. Mutant analysis reveals whirlin as a dynamic organizer in the growing hair cell stereocilium. Hum Mol Genet. 2005;14:391-400 pubmed
    ..The data indicate that whirlin expression is a critical and dynamic organizer for stereocilia elongation and actin polymerization. ..
  5. Si X, Zakir M, Dickman J. Afferent innervation of the utricular macula in pigeons. J Neurophysiol. 2003;89:1660-77 pubmed
    ..The cellular organization and innervation patterns of the utricular maculae in birds appear to represent an organ in adaptive evolution, different from that observed for amphibians or mammals. ..
  6. Goode C, Maney D, Rubel E, Fuchs A. Visual influences on the development and recovery of the vestibuloocular reflex in the chicken. J Neurophysiol. 2001;85:1119-28 pubmed
    ..In the second experiment, 1-wk-old chicks were treated with streptomycin, which destroys most vestibular hair cells and reduces hVOR gain to zero...
  7. Mizutari K, Fujioka M, Nakagawa S, Fujii M, Ogawa K, Matsunaga T. Balance dysfunction resulting from acute inner ear energy failure is caused primarily by vestibular hair cell damage. J Neurosci Res. 2010;88:1262-72 pubmed publisher
    ..There was severe loss and degeneration of vestibular hair cells following 500 mM 3-NP but only slight loss and degeneration of hair cells following 300 mM 3-NP...
  8. Seoane A, Dememes D, Llorens J. Relationship between insult intensity and mode of hair cell loss in the vestibular system of rats exposed to 3,3'-iminodipropionitrile. J Comp Neurol. 2001;439:385-99 pubmed
  9. Frank J, Markin V, Jaramillo F. Characterization of adaptation motors in saccular hair cells by fluctuation analysis. Biophys J. 2002;83:3188-201 pubmed
    ..We describe both displacement and variance with a model in which a motor acting on the bundle takes approximately 3.6-nm steps whose frequency (approximately 22 s(-1)) declines with the motor's load. ..
  10. Zampini V, Masetto S, Correia M. Elementary properties of Kir2.1, a strong inwardly rectifying K(+) channel expressed by pigeon vestibular type II hair cells. Neuroscience. 2008;155:1250-61 pubmed publisher
    ..Finally, in contrast to Kir2.1 results described so far for mammalian cells, external Mg(2+) had no effect on channel conductance. ..
  11. Huang Y, Chi F, Han Z, Yang J, Gao W, Li Y. New ectopic vestibular hair cell-like cells induced by Math1 gene transfer in postnatal rats. Brain Res. 2009;1276:31-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Our study might pave the way for further in vivo studies on vestibular Math1 adenoviral vector gene transfer. ..
  12. Huss D, Navaluri R, Faulkner K, Dickman J. Development of otolith receptors in Japanese quail. Dev Neurobiol. 2010;70:436-55 pubmed publisher
    ..Calyx fibers were the least complex, followed by dimorph units. Bouton fibers had large innervation fields, with arborous branches and many terminal boutons. ..
  13. Tariq M, Khan H, Siddiquei M, Al Moutaery K, Al Deeb S. Protective effect of hydrocortisone on iminodipropionitrile-induced neurotoxicity in rats. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2007;100:176-81 pubmed
    ..Hydrocortisone also protected the animals against IDPN-induced vestibular hair cell degeneration. The protective effect of hydrocortisone may be attributed to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. ..
  14. Kong W, Cheng H, Van Cauwenberge P. Expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit alpha9 in type II vestibular hair cells of rats. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2006;27:1509-14 pubmed
    ..Present data confirm that alpha 9 AChR mRNA is expressed in the VHC II of rats and indicates that alpha 9 AChR may function as a mediator of efferent cholinergic signaling in mammalian VHC. ..
  15. Gómez Casati M, Murtie J, Taylor B, Corfas G. Cell-specific inducible gene recombination in postnatal inner ear supporting cells and glia. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2010;11:19-26 pubmed publisher
    ..These results show that PLP/CreER(T) mice are a powerful tool to dissect gene function in inner ear supporting cells. ..
  16. Ding S, Xie S, Chen W, Wen L, Wang J, Yang F, et al. Is oval window transport a royal gate for nanoparticle delivery to vestibule in the inner ear?. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2019;126:11-22 pubmed publisher
    ..Intriguingly, there were high levels of CS NPs in vestibular hair cells, dark cells and supporting cells, but negligible ones in cochlear hair cells and epithelial cells after ..
  17. Arab S, Düwel P, Jüngling E, Westhofen M, Lückhoff A. Inhibition of voltage-gated calcium currents in type II vestibular hair cells by cinnarizine. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2004;369:570-5 pubmed
    ..We hypothesized that cinnarizine, as a blocker of L-type Ca2+ channels, may directly target vestibular hair cells where Ca2+ currents are important for the mechano-electrical transduction and transmitter release...
  18. Yamoah E, Lumpkin E, Dumont R, Smith P, Hudspeth A, Gillespie P. Plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase extrudes Ca2+ from hair cell stereocilia. J Neurosci. 1998;18:610-24 pubmed
    ..Our data further indicate that PMCA could elevate the extracellular Ca2+ concentration close to hair bundles above the low level found in bulk endolymph...
  19. King J, Young C, Highton J, Smith P, Darlington C. Vestibulo-ocular, optokinetic and postural function in humans with rheumatoid arthritis. Neurosci Lett. 2002;328:77-80 pubmed
    ..We conclude that RA patients do not exhibit substantial deficits in visual-vestibular function. ..
  20. Gaboyard S, Sans A, Lehouelleur J. Differential impact of hypergravity on maturating innervation in vestibular epithelia during rat development. Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 2003;143:15-23 pubmed
    ..Therefore, gravity appears to be an epigenetic factor influencing the late maturation of utricles. These differential effects of altered gravity on the development of the vestibular epithelium are discussed. ..
  21. Kaya S, Kaya F, Hizli O, Paparella M, Cureoglu S. Otopathologic Findings of Pena-Shokeir Syndrome Type I. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2016;125:677-81 pubmed publisher
    ..number of spiral ganglion cells and number of outer and inner hair cells of the cochlea, mild loss of vestibular hair cells, hypoplasia in the facial nerves, and ischemic degeneration of Schwann cells in the modiolus...
  22. Kozel P, Friedman R, Erway L, Yamoah E, Liu L, Riddle T, et al. Balance and hearing deficits in mice with a null mutation in the gene encoding plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase isoform 2. J Biol Chem. 1998;273:18693-6 pubmed
    ..These data demonstrate that PMCA2 is required for both balance and hearing and suggest that it may be a major source of the calcium used in the formation and maintenance of otoconia. ..
  23. Wong W, Hurley K, Eatock R. Differences between the negatively activating potassium conductances of Mammalian cochlear and vestibular hair cells. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2004;5:270-84 pubmed
    Cochlear and type I vestibular hair cells of mammals express negatively activating potassium (K(+)) conductances, called g(K,n) and g(K,L) respectively, which are important in setting the hair cells' resting potentials and input ..
  24. Khan H, Alhomida A, Arif I. Neurovestibular toxicities of acrylonitrile and iminodipropionitrile in rats: a comparative evaluation of putative mechanisms and target sites. Toxicol Sci. 2009;109:124-31 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings suggest that ACN and IDPN produce different behavioral effects that are exerted through entirely different mechanisms; the nervous and vestibular systems appear to be the major target sites of these toxins, respectively. ..
  25. Sohmer H. Sound induced fluid pressures directly activate vestibular hair cells: implications for activation of the cochlea. Clin Neurophysiol. 2006;117:933-4 pubmed
  26. Chang H, Guo M, Guo K, Li Y. [Subcloning of human neurotrophin-3 gene and construction of its genetically engineered cell model]. Di Yi Jun Yi Da Xue Xue Bao. 2004;24:805-8 pubmed
    ..1(+)/NT3 not only expressed and produced NT3, but also promoted the survival of the guinea pig cochlea hair cells in vitro. It is possible to construct the genetically engineered BM-MSCs that excrete NT3 in vitro. ..
  27. Forge A, Li L, Nevill G. Hair cell recovery in the vestibular sensory epithelia of mature guinea pigs. J Comp Neurol. 1998;397:69-88 pubmed
    ..There was also no evidence of any hair cell recovery in the organ of Corti. Thus, there appear to be limitations on the capacity for spontaneous replacement of lost hair cells in the mammalian inner ear. ..
  28. Tanaka H, Tanigawa T, Suzuki M, Otsuka K, Inafuku S. Effects of MRI contrast agents (Omniscan) on vestibular end organs. Acta Otolaryngol. 2010;130:17-24 pubmed publisher
    ..b>Vestibular hair cells isolated from bullfrogs were loaded with 4-32-fold diluted Omniscan (gadolinium hydrate) and morphological ..
  29. Ishiyama G, Lopez I, Ishiyama A. Subcellular immunolocalization of NMDA receptor subunit NR-1 in the chinchilla vestibular periphery. Brain Res. 1999;851:270-6 pubmed
    ..The NMDA receptors on the type I hair cell are located in areas of synaptic specialization, and may play a role in autoregulation. The localization of the NMDA receptor subunit in type I but not type II hair cells is intriguing. ..
  30. Eugene D, Deforges S, Guimont F, Idoux E, Vidal P, Moore L, et al. Developmental regulation of the membrane properties of central vestibular neurons by sensory vestibular information in the mouse. J Physiol. 2007;583:923-43 pubmed
    ..Altogether, maturation of the membrane properties of central vestibular neurons is delayed, but not impaired by the absence of sensory vestibular information. ..
  31. Popa R, Anniko M, Arnold W, Oestreicher E. Alpha and beta subunits of acetylcholine receptors in the human inner ear. Acta Otolaryngol. 2000;120:484-9 pubmed
    ..Both alpha and beta subunits were identified on spiral ganglion cells, adjacent nerve fibres and in vestibular hair cells (HCs). It would appear that they form an active complex in n-ACh-r at these locations.
  32. Sakakibara M. Comparative study of visuo-vestibular conditioning in Lymnaea stagnalis. Biol Bull. 2006;210:298-307 pubmed
  33. Drescher D, Ramakrishnan N, Drescher M, Chun W, Wang X, Myers S, et al. Cloning and characterization of alpha9 subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expressed by saccular hair cells of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Neuroscience. 2004;127:737-52 pubmed
  34. Cioffi J, Wackym P, Erbe C, Gaggl W, Popper P. Molecular characterization of two novel splice variants of G alphai2 in the rat vestibular periphery. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2005;137:89-97 pubmed
    ..These two novel alternatively spliced isoforms of Galphai2 putatively encode truncated proteins that could serve unique roles in the physiology of the vestibular neuroepithelium. Galphai2vest was found to be a processed pseudogene. ..
  35. Shou J, Zheng J, Gao W. Robust generation of new hair cells in the mature mammalian inner ear by adenoviral expression of Hath1. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2003;23:169-79 pubmed
    ..Local adenoviral gene therapy in the inner ear may be a potential approach to treatment of hearing and balance disorders...
  36. Chu H, Xiong H, Zhou X, Han F, Wu Z, Zhang P, et al. Aminoglycoside ototoxicity in three murine strains and effects on NKCC1 of stria vascularis. Chin Med J (Engl). 2006;119:980-5 pubmed
    ..2, 3-dihydroxybenzoate attenuated AmAn induced ototoxicity-possibly by enhancing the expression of NKCC1. Age related hearing loss did not show additional sensitivity to AmAn induced ototoxicity in murine model. ..
  37. Dumont R, Lins U, Filoteo A, Penniston J, Kachar B, Gillespie P. Plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase isoform 2a is the PMCA of hair bundles. J Neurosci. 2001;21:5066-78 pubmed
    ..This complete segregation of PMCA1 and PMCA2 isozymes holds for rat auditory and vestibular hair cells; PMCA2a is the only PMCA isoform in hair bundles of outer hair cells and vestibular hair cells and is the ..
  38. Matsui J, Ryals B. Hair cell regeneration: an exciting phenomenon...but will restoring hearing and balance be possible?. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2005;42:187-98 pubmed
    ..In this review, we will discuss some of the key recent findings in sensory hair cell regeneration and what they mean for audiologists and other hearing healthcare practitioners. ..
  39. Qu Y, Tang W, Dahlke I, Ding D, Salvi R, Sohl G, et al. Analysis of connexin subunits required for the survival of vestibular hair cells. J Comp Neurol. 2007;504:499-507 pubmed
    ..However, it is unclear whether vestibular hair cells undergo similar degeneration in connexin knockout mice...
  40. Warchol M, Montcouquiol M. Maintained expression of the planar cell polarity molecule Vangl2 and reformation of hair cell orientation in the regenerating inner ear. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2010;11:395-406 pubmed publisher
    ..Both of these results are consistent with the hypothesis that noncanonical Wnt signaling guides hair cell orientation during regeneration. ..
  41. Campo P, Lataye R, Cossec B, Placidi V. Toluene-induced hearing loss: a mid-frequency location of the cochlear lesions. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1997;19:129-40 pubmed
    ..The third row of outer hair cells was more injured than the second row, which itself was more injured than the first row. The locations of the cochlear lesions are reported in the present study with regard to the toluene dose. ..
  42. Hurley K, Gaboyard S, Zhong M, Price S, Wooltorton J, Lysakowski A, et al. M-like K+ currents in type I hair cells and calyx afferent endings of the developing rat utricle. J Neurosci. 2006;26:10253-69 pubmed
    Type I vestibular hair cells have large K+ currents that, like neuronal M currents, activate negative to resting potential and are modulatable. In rodents, these currents are acquired postnatally...
  43. Rhodes C, Hertzano R, Fuchs H, Bell R, de Angelis M, Steel K, et al. A Myo7a mutation cosegregates with stereocilia defects and low-frequency hearing impairment. Mamm Genome. 2004;15:686-97 pubmed
    ..Protein analysis revealed reduced levels of myosin VIIa expression in inner ears of headbanger mice. Headbanger represents a novel inner ear phenotype and provides a potential model for low-frequency-type human hearing loss. ..
  44. Hirvonen T, Minor L, Hullar T, Carey J. Effects of intratympanic gentamicin on vestibular afferents and hair cells in the chinchilla. J Neurophysiol. 2005;93:643-55 pubmed
    Gentamicin is toxic to vestibular hair cells, but its effects on vestibular afferents have not been defined. We treated anesthetized chinchillas with one injection of gentamicin (26...
  45. Fraser P, Cruickshank S, Shelmerdine R. Hydrostatic pressure effects on vestibular hair cell afferents in fish and crustacea. J Vestib Res. 2003;13:235-42 pubmed
    ..The main properties of the crab hydrostatic pressure sensing system are briefly reviewed and new experimental work on the isolated elasmobranch labyrinth is presented. ..
  46. Fritzsch B, Barbacid M, Silos Santiago I. The combined effects of trkB and trkC mutations on the innervation of the inner ear. Int J Dev Neurosci. 1998;16:493-505 pubmed
  47. Hoshino M, Tatsumi H, Nakashima T, Sokabe M. In vitro reconstitution of signal transmission from a hair cell to the growth cone of a chick vestibular ganglion cell. Neuroscience. 2003;120:993-1003 pubmed
    ..This is the first demonstration of in vitro reconstitution of functional signal transmission from a hair cell to a vestibular ganglion cell. ..
  48. Nam J, Cotton J, Peterson E, Grant W. Mechanical properties and consequences of stereocilia and extracellular links in vestibular hair bundles. Biophys J. 2006;90:2786-95 pubmed
    ..Our predicted stiffness of the gating spring was greater than the previous estimation. ..
  49. Lysakowski A, Goldberg J. Ultrastructural analysis of the cristae ampullares in the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus). J Comp Neurol. 2008;511:47-64 pubmed publisher
    ..Unlike cristae, type II HCs predominate in monkey maculae. Differences in hair-cell counts may reflect the stimulus magnitudes handled by semicircular canals and otolith organs...
  50. Correia M, Weng T, Prusak D, Wood T. Kvbeta1.1 associates with Kvalpha1.4 in Chinese hamster ovary cells and pigeon type II vestibular hair cells and enhances the amplitude, inactivation and negatively shifts the steady-state inactivation range. Neuroscience. 2008;152:809-20 pubmed publisher
    ..4 and Kvbeta1.1 to suggest N-and C-type inactivation, co-assembly and association of Kvalpha1.4 and Kvbeta1.1 may also produce changes in the time dependent inactivation properties of vestibular hair cells.
  51. Edmonds B, Reyes R, Schwaller B, Roberts W. Calretinin modifies presynaptic calcium signaling in frog saccular hair cells. Nat Neurosci. 2000;3:786-90 pubmed
    ..We conclude that calretinin, when present at millimolar concentration, can serve as a diffusionally mobile calcium buffer/transporter capable of regulating calcium signaling over nanometer distances at presynaptic sites. ..
  52. Gacek R. A place principle for vertigo. Auris Nasus Larynx. 2008;35:1-10 pubmed
    ..To provide a road map of the vestibular labyrinth and its innervation leading to a place principle for different forms of vertigo...
  53. Bonsacquet J, Brugeaud A, Compan V, Desmadryl G, Chabbert C. AMPA type glutamate receptor mediates neurotransmission at turtle vestibular calyx synapse. J Physiol. 2006;576:63-71 pubmed