Quantification of the stria vascularis and strial capillary areas in quiet-reared young and aged gerbils

Michael Anne Gratton, Bradley A. Schulte, Nancy M. Smythe

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The area of the stria vascularis (StV) and of StV capillaries was measured in radial sections from regions corresponding to 0.5, 2, 4, 10, 20 and 40 kHz. In young gerbils, StV area ranged from 3700 to 8500 μm2 and that of individual StV capillaries from 70 to 110 μm2. The maximal StV area as well as the largest number of capillaries occurred at the 20 kHz region. In quiet-aged gerbils, the StV area also varied with frequency and was 28- 67% smaller than corresponding measures in young gerbils. The decrease in StV area was statistically significant at all but the 2 and 4 kHz regions. The area of individual StV capillaries declined also (8-29%) with age even when the StV area remained near normal. Reductions in capillary area were statistically significant at the 2, 20 and 40 kHz regions. The large variance in StV radial area among aged gerbils reflects the patchy nature of strial degeneration previously observed in this species. The data agree with those of our previous studies and indicate alterations in StV capillaries are a primary cause of presbyacusis in the gerbil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalHearing research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1997


  • Cochlea
  • Morphometry
  • Pathology
  • Presbyacusis
  • Vasculature


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