Microtubules of Guinea pig cochlear epithelial cells

Toshihiko Kikuchi, Tomonori Takasaka, Akira Tonosaki, Yukio Katori, Hideichi Shinkawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


By tannic acid staining, the 13-protofilament composition of cochlear hair cell microtubules, an impressive contrast against the 15-protofilament microtubules in cochlear pillar cells, was verified. The 15-protofilament microtubules formed a large and stiff cytoskeletal bundle in pillar cell bodies involving abundant actin filaments. The bundles were always situated vertically, i.e., longitudinally to the cell body axis, and were most numerous in the outer as well as the inner pillar cells in the basal turn, decreasing gradually toward the apex. Such gradient architecture of the pillar cell cytoskeleton can be correlated with the tuning mechanism for traveling waves of sound containing variable frequencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-290
Number of pages5
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • Basal-apical
  • Cochlear hair cells
  • Cochlear supporting cells
  • Gradient of stiffness
  • Microtubular protofilament


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