Scanning Microscopy


The inner ear ampullae of the lizard Podarcis s. sicula were studied to determine better the ultrastructure of ampullar epithelial cells.

Our study confirmed that the ampullae of the membranous labyrinth of this lizard are similar to those of other vertebrates in their ultrastructural aspect.

Moreover, our observations revealed a special type of dark cells, restricted to a small area of the crista. They appeared similar to type II sensory cells and showed a dark, finely granular cytoplasm, containing numerous mitochondria and ribosomes, extensive Golgi apparatus and abundant glycogen.

The morphology of these cells suggests that they may be special sensory cells, or different stages of sensory cells, probably implied in the crista cell turn-over described for some vertebrate groups.

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