Ontogeny of vestibular compound action potentials in the domestic chicken

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Abstract

Compound action potentials of the vestibular nerve were measured from the surface of the scalp in 148 chickens (Gallus domesticus). Ages ranged from incubation day 18 (E18) to 22 days posthatch (P22). Responses were elicited using linear acceleration cranial pulses. Response thresholds decreased at an average rate of -0.45 dB/day. The decrease was best fit by an exponential model with half-maturity time constant of 5.1 days and asymptote of approximately -25.9 dB re:1.0 g/ms. Mean threshold approached within 3 dB of the asymptote by ages P6-P9. Similarly, response latencies decreased exponentially to within 3% of mature values at ages beyond P9. The half-maturity time constant for peripheral response peak latencies P1, N1, and P2 was comparable to thresholds and ranged from approximately 4.6 to 6.2 days, whereas central peaks (N2, P3, and N3) ranged from 2.9 to 3.4 days. Latency-intensity slopes for P1, N1, and P2 tended to decrease with age, reaching mature values within approximately 100 hours of hatching. Amplitudes increased as a function of age with average growth rates for response peaks ranging from 0.04 to 0.09 μV/day. There was no obvious asymptote to the growth of amplitudes over the ages studied. Amplitude-intensity slopes also increased modestly with age. The results show that gravity receptors are responsive to transient cranial stimuli as early as E19 in the chicken embryo. The functional response of gravity receptors continues to develop for many days after all major morphological structures are in place. Distinct maturational processes can be identified in central and peripheral neural relays. Functional improvements during maturation may result from refinements in the receptor epithelia, improvements in central and peripheral synaptic transmission, increased neural myelination, as well as changes in the mechanical coupling between the cranium and receptor organ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-242
Number of pages11
JournalJARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology
Volume1
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2000

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Keywords

  • Birds
  • Development
  • Embryos
  • Gravity receptors
  • Linear acceleration
  • Otolith organs
  • Vestibular evoked potentials
  • Vestibular ontogeny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems

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