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Avian dark cellsDark cells (DCs) of mammalian and non-mammalian species help to maintain the homeostasis of the inner ear fluids in vivo. Although the avian cochlea is straight and the mammalian cochlea is coiled, no significant difference in the morphology and/or function of mammalian and avian DCs has been reported. The mammalian equivalent of avian DCs are marginal cells and are located in the stria vascularis along a bony sheet. Avian DCs hang free from the tegmentum vasculosum (TV) of the avian lagena between the perilymph and endolymph. Frame averaging was used to image the fluorescence emitted by several fluorochromes applied to freshly isolated dark cells (iDCs) from chickens (Gallus domesticus) inner ears. The viability of iDCs was monitored via trypan blue exclusion at each isolation step. Sodium Green, BCECF-AM, Rhodamine 123 and 9-anthroyl ouabain molecules were used to test iDC function. These fluorochromes label iDCs ionic transmembrane trafficking function, membrane electrogenic potentials and Na+/K+ ATPase pump's activity. Na+/K+ ATPase pump sites, were also evaluated by the p-nitrophenyl phosphatase reaction. These results suggest that iDCs remain viable for several hours after isolation without special culturing requirements and that the number and functional activity of Na+/K+ ATPase pumps in the iDCs were indistinguishable from in vivo DCs. Primary cultures of freshly iDCs were successfully maintained for 28 days in plastic dishes with RPMI 1640 culture medium. The preparation of iDCs overcomes the difficulty of DCs accessability in vivo and the unavoidable contamination that rupturing the inner ear microenvironments induces.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Hara, J.
(Tulane University New Orleans, LA 70112-2699, United States)
Plymale, D. R.
Shepard, D. L.
Hara, H.
Garry, Robert F.
Yoshihara, T.
Zenner, Hans-Peter
Bolton, M.
Kalkeri, R.
Fermin, Cesar D.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 2002
Publication Information
Publication: European archives of oto-rhino-laryngology : official journal of the European Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies (EUFOS) : affiliated with the German Society for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Volume: 259
Issue: 3
ISSN: 0937-4477
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
NASA Discipline Neuroscience
Non-NASA Center
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