Scanning Microscopy


Elliptical cells (E-P) are present at the perilymphatic interface lumen (PIL) of the lagena. The E-P cells often separate from the tegmentum vasculosum (TV) and have touching processes that form a monolayer between the K+ rich perilymph and the Na+ rich endolymph, similar to the mammalian Reissner's membrane. We examined the TV of chicks (Gallus domesticus) and quantitated the expression of anti-S100ααββ and S100β. There was a 30% increase of S100β saturation in the light cells facing the PIL when compared to other TV light cells. We show that: (1) the dimer anti-S100ααββ and the mono-mer anti-S100β are expressed preferentially in the light cells and the E-P cells of TV; (2) expression of S100β is higher in light cells facing the PIL than in adjacent cells; (3) the expression of the dimer S100ααββ and monomer S100β overlaps in most inner ear cell types, including the cells of the TV, most S100ααββ positive cells express S100β, but S100β positive cells do not always express S100ααββ; and (4) the S100β expression in light cells, the abundant Na+-K+ ATPase on dark cells of the TV, and previously demonstrated co-localization of S100β/GABA in sensory cells suggest that S100β could have, in the inner ear, a dual neurotrophic-ionic modulating function.

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