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Publication Detail
Intercellular junctional maturation in the stria vascularis: possible association with onset and rise of endocochlear potential.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Souter M, Forge A
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    81, 95
  • Journal:
    Hear Res
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Country:
  • Print ISSN:
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Age Factors, Animals, Basilar Membrane, Cochlear Microphonic Potentials, Gap Junctions, Gerbillinae, Immunohistochemistry, Intercellular Junctions, Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase, Stria Vascularis
The postnatal maturation of intercellular junctions of marginal and basal cells of the stria vascularis was examined in the gerbil using thin sections and freeze fracture techniques. Immunohistochemical methods were used to determine the presence of Na,K-ATPase postnatally. The onset and growth of endocochlear potential (EP) was also measured. In marginal cells, the apical surface and junctional region around the apical pole of the cell was found to have adult-like characteristics by the time of onset of EP, whilst the increase in staining for Na.K-ATPase temporally coincided with an increasing density of intra-membrane protein particles on the infoldings of marginal cell lateral membranes. Maturation of the junctional specialisations of the basal cells was found to correspond temporally with the period of onset and rise of EP. Tight junctions between basal cells first appeared as small, broken strands composed of widely spaced particles at 6 days after birth (DAB). These junctional strands increased in number and in particle density until adult-like at 16 DAB when they covered large areas of the basal cell lateral membrane. Gap junctions on the apical membrane of basal cells first appeared as small patches of loosely packed junctional elements at 6 DAB. Between 8 and 16 DAB the area of membrane occupied by the gap junctions increased, reaching a mature conformation by 18 DAB. The results suggest that EP maturation is dependent upon the development of sealing between the basal cells by tight junctions and also the establishment and development of gap junctions in the apical plasma membrane of basal cells, associated with intermediate cells.
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