Co-localisation of Kir4.1 and AQP4 in rat and human cochleae reveals a gap in water channel expression at the transduction sites of endocochlear K+ recycling routes
2012 (English)In: Cell and Tissue Research, ISSN 0302-766X, E-ISSN 1432-0878, Vol. 350, no 1, 27-43 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Sensory transduction in the cochlea depends on perilymphatic-endolymphatic potassium (K+) recycling. It has been suggested that the epithelial supporting cells (SCs) of the cochlear duct may form the intracellular K+ recycling pathway. Thus, they must be endowed with molecular mechanisms that facilitate K+ uptake and release, along with concomitant osmotically driven water movements. As yet, no molecules have been described that would allow for volume-equilibrated transepithelial K+ fluxes across the SCs. This study describes the subcellular co-localisation of the Kir4.1 K+ channel (Kir4.1) and the aquaporin-4 water channel (AQP4) in SCs, on the basis of immunohistochemical double-labelling experiments in rat and human cochleae. The results of this study reveal the expression of Kir4.1 in the basal or basolateral membranes of the SCs in the sensory domain of the organ of Corti that are adjacent to hair cells and in the non-sensory domains of the inner and outer sulci that abut large extracellular fluid spaces. The SCs of the inner sulcus (interdental cells, inner sulcus cells) and the outer sulcus (Hensen’s cells, outer sulcus cells) display the co-localisation of Kir4.1 and AQP4 expression. However, the SCs in the sensory domain of the organ of Corti reveal a gap in the expression of AQP4. The outer pillar cell is devoid of both Kir4.1 and AQP4. The subcellular co-localisation of Kir4.1 and AQP4 in the SCs of the cochlea described in this study resembles that of the astroglia of the central nervous system and the glial Mueller cells in the retina.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 350, no 1, 27-43 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-181691DOI: 10.1007/s00441-012-1456-yISI: 000309471300003PubMedID: 22802001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-181691DiVA: diva2:557381