The inferior colliculus is an auditory structure where inputs from multiple lower centers converge, allowing the emergence of complex coding properties of auditory information such as stimulus-specific adaptation. Stimulus-specific adaptation is the adaptation of neuronal responses to a specific repeated stimulus, which does not entirely generalize to other new stimuli. This phenomenon provides a mechanism to emphasize saliency and potentially informative sensory inputs. Stimulus-specific adaptation has been traditionally studied analyzing the somatic spiking output. However, studies that correlate within the same inferior colliculus neurons their intrinsic properties, subthreshold responses and the level of acoustic stimulus-specific adaptation are still pending. For this, we recorded in vivo whole-cell patch-clamp neurons in the mouse inferior colliculus while stimulating with current injections or the classic auditory oddball paradigm.

Our data based on cases of ten neuron, suggest that although passive properties were similar, intrinsic properties differed between adapting and non-adapting neurons. Non-adapting neurons showed a sustained-regular firing pattern that corresponded to central nucleus neurons and adapting neurons at the inferior colliculus cortices showed variable firing patterns. Our current results suggest that synaptic stimulus-specific adaptation was variable and could not be used to predict the presence of spiking stimulus-specific adaptation. We also observed a small trend towards hyperpolarized membrane potentials in adapting neurons and increased synaptic inhibition with consecutive stimulus repetitions in all neurons. This finding indicates a more simple type of adaptation, potentially related to potassium conductances. Hence, these data represent a modest first step in the intracellular study of stimulus-specific adaptation in inferior colliculus neurons in vivo that will need to be expanded with pharmacological manipulations to disentangle specific ionic channels participation.

Keywords: Stimulus-specific adaptation, Inferior colliculus, In vivo whole-cell, Current-clamp, Intrinsic properties, Subthreshold responses

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