Expression patterns of Ca(V)1.3 channels in the rat cochlea.
ABSTRACT Although Ca(V)1.3 channels are known to be essential for neuronal excitation and signal transduction in the auditory system, their expression patterns in the cochlea are still not fully understood, particularly in the regions where non-sensory cells are located. We performed immunohistochemistry, western blotting and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to identify the expression and distribution of Ca(V)1.3 channels in the rat cochlea. Immunohistochemistry revealed that Ca(V)1.3 channels were localized in the outer hair cells (OHCs), inner hair cells (IHCs), limbus laminae spiralis, spiral ganglion cell, spiral ligament (SL), and stria vascularis (STV). The results of RT-PCR and western blotting demonstrated Ca(V)1.3 channels had a tissue-specific expression pattern. Ca(V)1.3 mRNA and protein were intensively expressed in the basilar membrane and spiral ganglion while moderate level of Ca(V)1.3 channels was observed in SL and STV. Our study preliminarily revealed the expression patterns of Ca(V)1.3 channels in the rat cochlea, providing a theoretical basis for further research on the role of Ca(V)1.3 channels in the periphery auditory system.