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Anat Embryol (Berl) 1987;175(4):477-87
Maturation of the rat cochlea, from postnatal days 2 to 60, was studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), with emphasis on stereocilia and tectorial membrane (TM). Two days after birth, the organ of Corti was very immature. An adult appearance of its surface was observed by day 16 in the basal turn, and by the end of the 3rd postnatal week in the apex. Stereocilia started their development first on inner hair cells. By contrast, the apical pole of outer hair cells ended its maturation before that of inner hair cells. Top-links were detected very early in inner hair cell stereociliary development (postnatal day 2). Marginal pillars temporarily attached the TM to the organ of Corti; they disappeared first in the apical region. This transient attachment seems to play a role in the coupling of outer hair cells to the TM, as prints of their longest stereocilia appeared at the undersurface of the TM by the same time. Moreover, these prints were more clear and regular at the base than at the apex of the cochlea. Results are discussed in relation to ultrastructural and functional data on rat cochlea maturation.
PMID: 3578826, UI: 87211093
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