Scanning Microscopy


The development of nerve fiber arrangements of the organ of Corti was studied in rabbits 1, 3, 5, 7 and 12-days-old using thick sections from celloidin-embedded cochleas which were examined under a scanning electron microscope. The arrangements of nerve fibers varied with developmental age. The tunnel spiral bundle was thick and loosely collected in the immature cochlea. The outer spiral fibers were recognized even in the narrow space of Nuel in the one-day-old cochlea. As Nuel's space is extending, the fibers course along the medial side of Deiters' cells. The arrangement of the outer spiral fibers was irregular and sparse in the five-day-old cochlea, in contrast to the regular parallel pattern of the adult cochlea. Adult-like parallel arrangement of the outer spiral fibers was seen in the twelve-day-old cochlea. In the three-day-old cochlea, irregularly running nerve fibers were seen along the outer spiral fibers. They may be efferent axons which develop afterwards. Club-like immature nerve endings were recognized at the base of the outer hair cells in the seven-day-old cochlea. Some fibers climbed high up along the medial wall of the outer hair cells. A nearly mature pattern was seen in the twelve-day-old cochlea. This study confirms previous reports on the development of cochlear innervation.

Included in

Biology Commons