Issue N# 3 - 1999
On a novel type of neuron with proposed mechanoreceptor function in the human round window membrane - An immunohistochemical study
Authors : H. Rask-Andersen, A. Kinnefors, R.-B. Illing (Uppsala, Freiburg)
Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol 1999;120,3:203-207.
Article published in english
An immunohistochemical study was performed on surgically obtained human fresh cochlear tissue, using synaptophysin antibodies. After immediate aldehyde fixation and decalcification in Na-EDTA serial cryosections were made of the cochlea including the round window membrane (RWM). Apart from highly specific immunostaining of spiral ganglion cells and unmyelinated nerve fibers an immunoreactive neuroreceptor could be demonstrated at the postero-medial insertion of the RWM. The perikaryon showed intense synaptophysin immunoreativity with a distal process projecting into the fibrous stroma of the RWM displaying structural specializations suggestive of a mechanoreceptor function. It is speculated whether the neuroreceptor may be involved in the proprioception and/or mechanoreception of tensile forces generated within the lamina propria during displacement of the yielding RWM in the bony labyrinth. Such a function could be important for the regulation of perilymph pressure.