Apoptosis during chick inner ear development: some observations by TEM and TUNEL techniques
AbstractIn order to clarify the occurrence, distribution and possible role of apoptosis during inner ear development, the ultrastructural aspects (by TEM) (at 9-19 incubation day and 1 day after hatching) and the distribution of the apoptotic phenomenon (by the TdTmediated dUTP nick end-labeling technique), were studied in the crista ampullaris of chick embryo at 5-19 days of incubation to hatching and of postnatal 1-day old chick. We found, in the sensorial epithelium, dark supporting cells in chick embryos and mainly dark hair cells in postnatal chicks, both with ultrastructural features consistent with those of apoptosis. The presence of apoptotic phenomena was confirmed by the TUNEL technique. According to our findings, it is hypothesized that apoptosis in the inner ear may be involved: 1) at first, in macroscopic remodelling of the membranous labyrinth in early developmental stages, 2) later, in the correct differentiation of the hair and of the supporting cells, leading to characteristic cellular pattern formation and 3) finally, in physiological cell turnover of the postnatal chicken sensorial epithelium of the crista.
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Copyright (c) 2009 B Avallone, G Balsamo, S Trapani, F Marmo
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