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Publication Detail
Association of Intracellular and Synaptic Organization in Cochlear Inner Hair Cells Revealed By 3D Electron Microscopy
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Bullen A, West T, Moores C, Ashmore J, Fleck R, MacLellan-Gibson K, Forge A
  • Publisher:
    Company of Biologists
  • Journal:
    Journal of Cell Science
  • Print ISSN:
  • Addresses:
    Birkbeck College
    Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology

    King's College London
    Centre for Ultrastructural Imaging

    National Institute For Biological Standards and Control
    Potters Bar
The ways in which cell architecture is modelled to meet cell function is a poorly understood facet of cell biology. To address this question, we have studied the cytoarchitecture of a cell with highly specialised organisation, the cochlear inner hair cell (IHC), using multiple hierarchies of 3D electron microscopy analyses. We show that synaptic terminal distribution on the IHC surface correlates with cell shape, and the distribution of a highly organised network of membranes and mitochondria encompassing the infranuclear region of the cell. This network is juxtaposed to a population of small vesicles and represents a potential new source of neurotransmitter vesicles for replenishment of the synapses. Structural linkages between organelles that underlie this organisation were identified by high resolution imaging. Together these results describe a cell-encompassing network of membranes and mitochondria present in IHCs which support efficient coding and transmission of auditory signals. Such techniques also have the potential for clarifying functionally specialised cytoarchitecture of other cell types.
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