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Publication Detail
Assessment of ultrastructure in isolated cochlear hair cells using a procedure for rapid freezing before freeze-fracture and deep-etching.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Comparative Study
  • Authors:
    Forge A, Davies S, Zajic G
  • Publication date:
    06/1991
  • Pagination:
    471, 484
  • Journal:
    J Neurocytol
  • Volume:
    20
  • Issue:
    6
  • Status:
    Published
  • Country:
    United States
  • Print ISSN:
    0300-4864
  • Language:
    eng
  • Keywords:
    Animals, Freeze Etching, Freeze Fracturing, Freezing, Guinea Pigs, Hair Cells, Auditory, Hair Cells, Auditory, Inner, Microscopy, Electron, Organ of Corti
Abstract
Separated cochlear outer hair cells and isolated strips of organ of Corti containing hair cells and supporting cells have been rapidly frozen before freeze-fracture and deep-etching by immersion of samples sandwiched between two copper plates into liquid nitrogen-cooled propane: isopentane. Assessment of this procedure has shown that no significant freezing damage occurs. The ultrastructure of the hair cells revealed by freeze-fracture of these non-chemically fixed preparations was generally very similar to that seen in fixed material. This indicates that the processing of cochlear tissue normally used for electron microscopy produces few obvious structural artefacts. It also demonstrated that procedures for isolating cochlear hair cells generally do not affect cell structure significantly. However, some isolated hair cells did show abnormalities within the membranes of the lateral cisternae. Such membrane alterations, which would not be identified by light microscopy, occurred to a variable extent but were more commonly present after prolonged periods in maintenance medium. Deep-etching of the preparations to examine extracellular features around stereocilia revealed clearly lateral cross-links between stereocilia. However, tip-links could not be positively identified in either unfixed or prefixed preparations.
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