Ectopic otoconial formation in the lagena of the pigeon inner ear.
The Company of Biologists
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Malkemper, E. P., Mason, M., Kagerbauer, D., Nimpf, S., & Keays, D. A. (2018). Ectopic otoconial formation in the lagena of the pigeon inner ear.. Biol Open, 7 (8) https://doi.org/10.1242/bio.034462
The vertebrate inner ear contains vestibular receptors with dense crystals of calcium carbonate, the otoconia. The production and maintenance of otoconia is a delicate process, the perturbation of which can lead to severe vestibular dysfunction in humans. The details of these processes are not well understood. Here, we report the discovery of a new otoconial mass in the lagena of adult pigeons that was present in more than 70% of birds. Based on histological, tomographic and elemental analyses, we conclude that the structure likely represents an ectopically-formed otoconial assembly. Given its frequent natural occurrence, we suggest that the pigeon lagena is a valuable model system for investigating misregulated otoconial formation.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
European Research Council [336725 to D.A.K.]; Austrian Science Fund [Y726 to D.A.K.]; Diamond Light Source [project no. MT16522]
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1242/bio.034462
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/284529
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/