Ultrastructure of the intercalated body, a novel organelle associated with fluid forming cells in the organ of Corti

Hanna M. Sobkowicz, Jon Holy, Grayson L. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The intercalated body is a newly discovered organelle in the inner and outer spiral sulcus cells of the mouse organ of Corti. The organelle was found in the cochleas of 14day and older intact mice and in organs in culture of corresponding ages. The organelle consists of a stack of interconnected cisternae of endoplasmic reticulum and of membrane bound rodlets that are intercalated between, and run parallel to, the cisternae. The cisternal membranes are predominantly smooth, but some may display ribosomes. Most rodlets are from 1 to 2m long, about 0.1m wide, and contain electron dense material. Mitochondria are commonly associated with or incorporated into the organelle. Some electron micrographs suggest that the rodlets may originate from modified mitochondria. It is our impression that the formation of the organelle begins with the apposition of cisternae and mitochondria. Cisternalassociated mitochondria appear to constrict, elongate, and lose their inner membranes. In both the intact animal and in culture, the cells of the inner and outer spiral sulci display microvilli, apical junctional complexes, lateral intercellular spaces containing interdigitating cell processes, and appear to be involved in fluid formation. Moreover, in culture, the cells of inner and outer spiral sulci as well as some cells proliferating in the outgrowth zone participate in fluid formation, producing large fluid pockets. All these cells commonly contain intercalated bodies. It is possible that in the intact animal, as in culture, intercalated bodies may play a role in fluid regulation in the immediate vicinity of the hair cells. Copyright1990 WileyLiss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-315
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Electron Microscopy Technique
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1990

Keywords

  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • Inner/Outer spiral sulcus
  • Lateral intercellular spaces
  • Mitochondria

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