Genetic Disorders of Cilia

  • B. A. Afzelius
Conference paper


Cilia in healthy mammals beat incessantly as long as the tissue is alive and oxygenated. It is hence easy to watch the regular ciliary activity and it is also easy to detect such disorders in man or animals in which the cilia are incapable of normal, co-ordinated movements. A light microscope is needed and is used for inspecting the ciliary activity on a biopsy. This technique could have been employed 150 years ago, from the time of the discovery of ciliated epithelia by J. E. Purkinje (Fig. 1), but has not come in use until recently. It remained for the geneticists and the cell biologists to discover that flagella and cilia can be paralyzed and malformed and that this will give rise to certain human diseases.


Basal Body Situs Inversus Ciliated Epithelium Ciliary Activity Sperm Tail 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. A. Afzelius
    • 1
  1. 1.Wenner-Gren InstituteUniversity of StockholmStockholmSweden

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