Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Auditory Efferent System Modulates Mosquito Hearing
Authors: Andrés, M
Seifert, M
Spalthoff, C
Warren, B
Weiss, L
Giraldo, D
Winkler, M
Pauls, S
Göpfert, MC
First Published: 31-May-2016
Publisher: Elsevier (Cell Press)
Citation: Current Biology, 2016, 26 (15), pp. 2028-2036
Abstract: The performance of vertebrate ears is controlled by auditory efferents that originate in the brain and innervate the ear, synapsing onto hair cell somata and auditory afferent fibers [1, 2, 3]. Efferent activity can provide protection from noise and facilitate the detection and discrimination of sound by modulating mechanical amplification by hair cells and transmitter release as well as auditory afferent action potential firing [1, 2, 3]. Insect auditory organs are thought to lack efferent control [4, 5, 6, 7], but when we inspected mosquito ears, we obtained evidence for its existence. Antibodies against synaptic proteins recognized rows of bouton-like puncta running along the dendrites and axons of mosquito auditory sensory neurons. Electron microscopy identified synaptic and non-synaptic sites of vesicle release, and some of the innervating fibers co-labeled with somata in the CNS. Octopamine, GABA, and serotonin were identified as efferent neurotransmitters or neuromodulators that affect auditory frequency tuning, mechanical amplification, and sound-evoked potentials. Mosquito brains thus modulate mosquito ears, extending the use of auditory efferent systems from vertebrates to invertebrates and adding new levels of complexity to mosquito sound detection and communication.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.05.077
ISSN: 0960-9822
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © Elsevier (Cell Press) 2016. This version of the paper is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License (, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Description: Supplemental Information includes Supplemental Experimental Procedures and three figures and can be found with this article online at
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Andres Miguel_2016.pdfPost-review (final submitted author manuscript)2.05 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.