Loss of β4-spectrin impairs Nav channel clustering at the heminode and temporal fidelity of presynaptic spikes in developing auditory brain

Kaila Nip, Sean Kashiwagura, Jun Hee Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Beta-4 (β4)-spectrin, encoded by the gene Sptbn4, is a cytoskeleton protein found at nodes and the axon initial segments (AIS). Sptbn4 mutations are associated with myopathy, neuropathy, and auditory deficits in humans. Related to auditory dysfunction, however, the expression and roles of β4-spectrin at axon segments along the myelinated axon in the developing auditory brain are not well explored. We found during postnatal development, β4-spectrin is critical for voltage-gated sodium channel (Nav) clustering at the heminode along the nerve terminal, but not for the formation of nodal and AIS structures in the auditory brainstem. Presynaptic terminal recordings in Sptbn4geo mice, β4-spectrin null mice, showed an elevated threshold of action potential and increased failures during action potential train at high-frequency. Sptbn4geo mice exhibited a slower central conduction and showed no startle responses, but had normal cochlear function. Taken together, the lack of β4-spectrin impairs Nav clustering at the heminode along the nerve terminal and the temporal fidelity and reliability of presynaptic spikes, leading to central auditory processing deficits during postnatal development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5854
JournalScientific reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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