Cellular characterization of Connexin26 and Connnexin30 expression in the cochlear lateral wall

Ying Peng Liu, Hong Bo Zhao

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52 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gap junctions in the cochlear lateral wall, which consists of the stria vascularis (SV) and spiral ligament (SPL), are important for generating a positive endocochlear potential and high potassium concentration in the endolymph. In this study, the cellular expression of connexin 26 (Cx26) and Cx30 in the cochlear lateral wall of rats and guinea pigs was examined by immunofluorescent staining and confocal microscopy. Co-labeling for Kir4.1 revealed that the stria intermediate cells had extensive labeling for Cx26 and Cx30 with a leaf-like distribution. Cx26 and Cx30 also co-distributed hexagonally around the basal cells. However, no labeling was observed in the marginal cells. In the SPL, punctate Cx26 and Cx30 labeling was distributed along vertical lines orthogonal to the cochlear longitudinal direction. Intense labeling for Cx26 and Cx30 was found in type II fibrocytes in the spiral prominence and central region, but Cx26 labeling was absent in the middle region just beneath the SV, where only Cx30 labeling was observed. Outer sulcus (OS) cells and their root processes also exhibited intense labeling for Cx26 and Cx30. Neither Cx26 nor Cx30 was immunopositive in the hyaline region beneath the OS, in the subcentral region (type IV fibrocytes), or in the tension (type III) fibrocytes beneath the bone. Cx26 and Cx30 labeling was also absent in the lateral wall blood vessels. Thus, Cx26 and Cx30 have distinct cell-specific distributions in the SV and SPL, suggesting that they can form different pathways for transporting ions/nutrients in the cochlear lateral wall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Volume333
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIDCD DC 05989. Y.-P.Liu . H.-B. Zhao (*) Department of Surgery - Otolaryngology, University of Kentucky Medical Center, 800 Rose Street, Lexington KY 40536-0293, USA e-mail: hzhao2@uky.edu

Keywords

  • Connexin
  • Gap junction
  • Guinea pig
  • Inner ear
  • Kir4.1
  • Non-syndromic hearing loss
  • Rat
  • Spiral ligament
  • Stria vascularis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology

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