Document Detail

Structure and mechanics of supporting cells in the guinea pig organ of Corti.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23145154     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The mechanical properties of the mammalian organ of Corti determine its sensitivity to sound frequency and intensity, and the structure of supporting cells changes progressively with frequency along the cochlea. From the apex (low frequency) to the base (high frequency) of the guinea pig cochlea inner pillar cells decrease in length incrementally from 75-55 µm whilst the number of axial microtubules increases from 1,300-2,100. The respective values for outer pillar cells are 120-65 µm and 1,500-3,000. This correlates with a progressive decrease in the length of the outer hair cells from >100 µm to 20 µm. Deiters'cell bodies vary from 60-50 µm long with relatively little change in microtubule number. Their phalangeal processes reflect the lengths of outer hair cells but their microtubule numbers do not change systematically. Correlations between cell length, microtubule number and cochlear location are poor below 1 kHz. Cell stiffness was estimated from direct mechanical measurements made previously from isolated inner and outer pillar cells. We estimate that between 200 Hz and 20 kHz axial stiffness, bending stiffness and buckling limits increase, respectively,~3, 6 and 4 fold for outer pillar cells, ~2, 3 and 2.5 fold for inner pillar cells and ~7, 20 and 24 fold for the phalangeal processes of Deiters'cells. There was little change in the Deiters'cell bodies for any parameter. Compensating for effective cell length the pillar cells are likely to be considerably stiffer than Deiters'cells with buckling limits 10-40 times greater. These data show a clear relationship between cell mechanics and frequency. However, measurements from single cells alone are insufficient and they must be combined with more accurate details of how the multicellular architecture influences the mechanical properties of the whole organ.
Deborah E Zetes; Jason A Tolomeo; Matthew C Holley
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-11-07
Journal Detail:
Title:  PloS one     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1932-6203     ISO Abbreviation:  PLoS ONE     Publication Date:  2012  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-12     Completed Date:  2013-06-25     Revised Date:  2013-07-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101285081     Medline TA:  PLoS One     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e49338     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Cell Size
Guinea Pigs / anatomy & histology*
Labyrinth Supporting Cells / cytology*,  physiology,  ultrastructure
Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
Microtubules / physiology,  ultrastructure
Grant Support
033968//Wellcome Trust

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