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Macromolecular organization and fine structure of the human basilar membrane - RELEVANCE for cochlear implantation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery.
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2015 (English)In: Cell and Tissue Research, ISSN 0302-766X, E-ISSN 1432-0878, Vol. 360, no 2, 245-262 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction Cochlear micromechanics and frequency tuning depend on the macromolecular organization of the basilar membrane (BM), which is still unclear in man. Novel techniques in cochlear implantation (CI) motivate further analyses of the BM. Materials and methods Normal cochleae from patients undergoing removal of life-threatening petro-clival meningioma and an autopsy specimen from a normal human were used. Laser-confocal microscopy, high resolution scanning (SEM) and transmission electronmicroscopy (TEM) were carried out in combination. In addition, one human temporal bone was decellularized and investigated by SEM. Results The human BM consisted in four separate layers: (1) epithelial basement membrane positive for laminin-beta 2 andcollagen IV, (2) BM Bproper boolean AND composed of radial fibers expressing collagen II and XI, (3) layer of collagen IV and (4) tympanic covering layer (TCL) expressing collagen IV, fibronectin and integrin. BM thickness varied both radially and longitudinally (mean 0.55-1.16 mu m). BM was thinnest near the OHC region and laterally. Conclusions There are several important similarities and differences between the morphology of the BM in humans and animals. Unlike in animals, it does not contain a distinct pars tecta (arcuate) and pectinata. Its width increases and thickness decreases as it travels apically in the cochlea. Findings show that the human BM is thinnest and probably most vibration-sensitive at the outer pillar feet/Deiter cells at the OHCs. The inner pillar and IHCs seem situated on a fairly rigid part of the BM. The gradient design of the BM suggests that its vulnerability increases apical wards when performing hearing preservation CI surgery.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 360, no 2, 245-262 p.
Keyword [en]
Basilar membrane, Human, Collagen II, Ultrastructure, Cochlear implant
National Category
Otorhinolaryngology Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-257031DOI: 10.1007/s00441-014-2098-zISI: 000355567700005PubMedID: 25663274OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-257031DiVA: diva2:828450
Available from: 2015-06-30 Created: 2015-06-29 Last updated: 2015-11-03Bibliographically approved

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