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Patterns of synaptophysin expression during development of the inner ear in the chick


The onset of active neural connections between the periphery and the central nervous system is integral to the development of sensory systems. This study presents patterns of synaptogenesis in the chick basilar papilla (i.e., cochlea) by examining the immunohistochemical expression of synaptophysin with a specific monoclonal antibody, SBI 20.10. The initial onset of synaptophysin expression occurs in nerve fibers and ganglion cell bodies at a time when neurites reach the basement membrane of the chick cochlea on embryonic day 6-7 (ED 6-7). By ED 8, synaptophysin positive fibers invade the neural side of the entire length of the cochlea, so that by ED 9-10, fibers are forming multiple terminals on the basolateral ends of retracting receptor or hair cells. In contrast, on the abneural side, immunoreactive terminals are seen first as small, punctate contacts and then as large, synaptophysin positive calyceal endings beneath short hair cells. These terminals are sparse during early development, more numerous by ED 17-19, but still incomplete after 2 weeks posthatching. In comparison, hair cells show synaptophysin immunoreactivity in both supra- and infranuclear regions by ED 11-12, a time when efferent innervation is incomplete. Thus, during development, synaptophysin is expressed at both synaptic and nonsynaptic sites, is relatively selective in its regional distribution, and is expressed in hair cells at a time when auditory function begins. Our results present a framework with which to understand the potential role of synaptophysin in early synaptogenesis of the cochlea.

Type Journal
ISBN 0022-3034 (Print)
Authors Sokolowski, B. H.;Cunningham, A. M. :
Publisher Name J NEUROBIOL
Published Date 1999-01-01
Published Volume 38
Published Issue 1
Published Pages 46-64
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version