Neuron-specific enolase during the development of the organ of corti

Donna S. Whitlon*, Hanna M. Sobkowicz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


NSE immunoreactivity has been studied in the organ of Corti of the developing mouse from birth to 21 days. NSE immunohistochemical stain is observed in spiral ganglion cells, in nerve fibers and in nerve endings of inner and outer hair cells, and in both populations of sensory cells. Spiral ganglion cells in lower and central parts of the ganglion stain for NSE at birth, but all nerve cells are stained by day 4. Radial and spiral fibers and the endings on inner hair cells stain at birth, but the nerve endings on outer hair cells develop NSE between days 3 and 6. The inner and outer hair cells are NSE-positive at day 2 but the NSE immunoreactivity in the outer hair cells decreases at the end of the second week until the cells become negative. The NSE stain in the neuronal pathways of the inner and outer hair cell regions increases for about 19 days, showing a predominant accumulation in neuronal endings. The data suggest that the development of NSE expression in the organ of Corti reflects the nascence and maturation of the synaptic contacts. Spiral neurons, their fibers and endings as well as inner and outer hair cells express NSE in the isolated organ of Corti in culture. Variability of stain among the different cell populations indicates a role of local factors in the regulation of NSE expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988


  • Development
  • Neuron-specific enolase (NSE)
  • Organ of Corti
  • Tissue culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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