Journal of Neurocytology

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Gap junctions between the supporting cells in some acoustico-vestibular receptors

  • Kiyoshi Hama
  • Kogaku Saito


Extensive gap junctions are found between the supporting cells in acoustico-vestibular receptors (saccular macula of the goldfish; ampullar crista, utricular macula and organ of Corti of the guinea pig). The fine structural details of these gap junctions were examined using lanthanum hydroxide staining and freeze-fracture replicas, as well as conventional thin sections. It was found in the lanthanum treated saccular macula of the goldfish that the gap junction globules consist of five or six subunits surrounding a central 2 nm hole. Similar subunits of the gap junction globule are also found in freeze-fracture replicas of the saccular macula of the goldfish and the ampullar crista of the guinea pig. Possible functions of the extensive gap junctions between supporting cells of these receptors are discussed.


Hydroxide Lanthanum Thin Section Corti Structural Detail 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kiyoshi Hama
    • 1
  • Kogaku Saito
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Fine Morphology, The Institute of Medical ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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