Scanning Microscopy


We have observed the three-dimensional intracellular structure of the organ of Corti and the spiral ganglion of the chinchilla using the aldehyde osmium-DMSO-osmium (A-O-D-O) method, and compared our findings with previous studies in the guinea pig. In cells of the spiral ganglion and the organ of Corti, microtubules and other cytoplasmic filaments were digested by OsO4 during processing to provide a clear view of membranous structures such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. The appropriate digestion time with 0.1% OsO4 solution was found to be 60-80 hrs for the organ of Corti and 70-90 hrs for the spiral ganglion. The A-O-D-O method has been especially useful to show the organization of the endoplasmic reticulum of the outer hair cells. We have made a further characterization of the apical cistern, a reticular network which appears to link the basal body of the (vestigial) kinocilium to both Hensen's body and the subsurface cisternae.

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