Macrophage activity in organ cultures of the avian cochlea: Demonstration of a resident population and recruitment to sites of hair cell lesions

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Abstract

The factors that regulate the repair and regeneration of the sensory hair cells of the inner ear are not understood. Previous studies of hair cell injury in the lateral line sensory organs of amphibians and the cochleae of mammals have demonstrated that macrophages and other leukocytes are recruited to sites of hair cell lesions. The present study examined the distribution and activity of macrophages in organ cultures of the avian cochlea, a system whose regenerative abilities have been widely studied. Cochleae were removed from chicks and placed in organ culture, and precise hair cell lesions were created using a laser microbeam. Macrophages in the cultures were identified using histochemical, immnnocytochemical, and morphologic criteria. It was found that (a) cultured cochleae contained a resident population of macrophages, and (b) increased numbers of macrophages were recruited to the sites of hair cell lesions. Furthermore, the latency of macrophage recruitment to lesions is consistent with a suggested role for macrophages in the initiation of hair cell regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-734
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 1997

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