Fine structure and lectin histochemistry of the apical surface of the free neuromast of Lampetra japonica

Yukio Katori, Tomonori Takasaka, Makoto Ishikawa, Akira Tonosaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The surface coat, ciliary process, and microvilli of the lamprey neuromast were examined with electron microscopy after tannic acid prefixation and lectin histochemistry. The neuromast was found to exist in the form of a dermal mound with a furrow in the middle. On the bottom of the furrow, the hair cell was characterized by a kinocilium and 15-20 stereocilia, arranged along the longitudinal axis of the furrow. Spanning structures were demonstrated between the kinocilium and stereocilia as well as between stereocilia. The surface coat, enhanced by tannic acid prefixation, was particularly rich over the surface of the supporting cell; by contrast, it was thin over the hair cell. Some lectins (PNA, GS-I, SBA, WGA) showed affinity to the surface coat of the supporting cell as well as the hair cell, and the others (RCA-I, MPA, ConA) showed affinity only to the supporting cell. These differences in the structure and affinities of the surface coat suggest an extracellular milieu highly specialized for the hair cell in this particular form of the mechanoreceptor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-252
Number of pages8
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994 May


  • Electron microscopy
  • Hair cells
  • Lampetra japonica (Cyclostomata)
  • Lectin histochemistry
  • Neuromast
  • Surface coat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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