A scanning electron microscope study of the papilla basilaris of Gekko gecko

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Summary

The sensory hair cells of the ventral 2/3 of the papilla basilaris of Gekko gecko are divided into anterior (pre-axial) and posterior (post-axial) portions by a mid-axial gap or hiatus where there are no hair cells. There is no separation of the hair cells in the dorsal third of the papilla. There are three tectorial membrane modifications: an attached thickened membrane covering the pre-axial hair cells, sallets covering the post-axial hair cells, and an attached filamentous membrane covering the dorsal hair cells. The number of hair cells is greatest ventrally and decreases dorsally. There are approximately 2000 to 2100 hair cells. The kinocilia of the hair cells of the anterior halves of both the pre- and the post-axial vertical hair-cell rows are oriented posteriorly, while the kinocilia of the posterior halves are oriented anteriorly. The kinocilia of the hair cells of the dorsal third of the papilla are mostly oriented posteriorly. Thus, kinocilial orientation of the ventral 2/3 of the papilla is doubly bidirectional, and the dorsal 1/3, largely unidirectional.

I would like to thank Ms. Maria Maglio for her skill in handling the technical aspects of the scanning electron microscopy as well as her artistry in achieving photographic excellence on the scope, David Akers for expert photographic assistance, and Wayne Emery for the drawings. Research sponsored by United States Public Health Service Grant NS-09231.