||Three-dimensional reconstruction of root cells and interdental cells in the rat inner ear by serial section scanning electron microscopy
Shodo, Ryusuke正道, 隆介
15 , 2017-09-20 , 新潟大学
学位の種類: 博士（医学）. 報告番号: 甲第4358号. 学位記番号: 新大院博（医）甲第771号. 学位授与年月日: 平成29年9月20日
Biomedical Research. 2017, 38(4), 239-248.
In the cochlea, a high K^+ environment in the endolymph is essential for the maintenance of normal hearing function, and the transport of K^+ ions through gap junctions of the cochlear epithelium is thought to play an important role in endolymphatic homeostasis. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the three-dimensional (3D) ultrastructure of spiral ligament root cells and interdental cells, which are located at both ends of the gap junction system of the cochlea epithelium. Serial semi-thin sections of plastic-embedded rat cochlea were mounted on glass slides, stained with uranyl acetate and lead citrate, and observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) using the backscattered electron (BSE) mode. 3D reconstruction of BSE images of serial sections revealed that the root cells were linked together to form a branched structure like an elaborate “tree root” in the spiral ligament. The interdental cells were also connected to each other, forming a comb-shaped cellular network with a number of cellular strands in the spiral limbus. Furthermore, TEM studies of ultra-thin sections revealed the rich presence of gap junctions in both root cells and interdental cells. These findings suggest the possibility that both root cells and interdental cells contribute to K^+ circulation as the end portion of the epithelial cell gap junction system of the cochlea.