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Journal of Neurocytology

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 161–177 | Cite as

Organization and ultrastructure of mechanoreceptors (Savi vesicles) in the elasmobranchTorpedo

  • E. Nickel
  • S. Fuchs
Article

Summary

The general organization of the Savi vesicles and the ultrastructure of their sensory epithelia from the elasmobranchsTorpedo californica andTorpedo marmorata have been studied with both the light and the electron microscope. The sensory epithelium of the Savi vesicles consists of two types of cells, the sensory hair cells and the supporting cells. The hair cells have 40–50 stereocilia and a single kinocilium at the apex. The kinocilium has the typical structure of 9 + 2 longitudinal filaments. The topographic arrangement of the kinocilium within the hair bundle is of functional significance. Two types of nerve terminals are distinguished at the base of the hair cell, one ending (afferent) without synaptic vesicles, the second ending (efferent) filled with many synaptic vesicles.

The supporting cells have microvilli and one ciliary rod with 9 longitudinal filaments. The fine structural organization of the supporting cells suggests that they may have the following functions: mechanical support for the receptor cells and isolation of single receptors, secretion and probably formation of the cupula. The sensory epithelium is a classical type of mechanoreceptor.

Key words

Mechanoreceptors hair cells synapses 

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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Nickel
    • 1
  • S. Fuchs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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