[MARMAM] New publication on cochlear morphology and high frequency hearing adaptations in toothed whales

MARIA MORELL mmorellyb at hotmail.com
Sun Dec 21 21:48:28 PST 2014


I apologize
for the previous message. It was a spelling mistake in one of the co-author names. 

We are pleased to announce the publication of our recent paper: 


Morell, M., Lenoir, M., Shadwick, R.E., Jauniaux, T.,
Dabin, W., Begeman, L., Ferreira, M., Maestre, I., Degollada, E.,
Hernandez-Milian, G., Cazevieille, C., Fortuño, J.M., Vogl, W., Puel, J.L.,
André, M. 2015.  Ultrastructure
of the odontocete organ of Corti: scanning and transmission electron
microscopy.  Journal of Comparative Neurology 523 (3):431–448



morphological study of the Odontocete organ of Corti, together with possible
alterations associated with damage from sound exposure, represents a key
conservation approach to assess the effects of acoustic pollution on marine
ecosystems. By collaborating with stranding networks from several European countries,
150 ears from 13 species of Odontocetes were collected and analyzed by scanning
(SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron microscopy. Based on our analyses, we
first describe and compare Odontocete cochlear structures and then propose a
diagnostic method to identify inner ear alterations in stranded individuals.
The two species analyzed by TEM (Phocoena phocoena and Stenella
coeruleoalba) showed morphological characteristics in the lower basal turn
of high-frequency hearing species. Among other striking features, outer hair
cell bodies were extremely small and were strongly attached to Deiters cells.
Such morphological characteristics, shared with horseshoe bats, suggest that
there has been convergent evolution of sound reception mechanisms among echolocating
species. Despite possible autolytic artifacts due to technical and experimental
constraints, the SEM analysis allowed us to detect the presence of scarring
processes resulting from the disappearance of outer hair cells from the
epithelium. In addition, in contrast to the rapid decomposition process of the
sensory epithelium after death (especially of the inner hair cells), the
tectorial membrane appeared to be more resistant to post-mortem autolysis
effects. Analysis of the stereocilia imprint pattern at the undersurface of the
tectorial membrane may provide a way to detect possible ultrastructural
alterations of the hair cell stereocilia by mirroring them on the tectorial


paper can be downloaded at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cne.23688/abstract 

Best Regards,



Maria Morell, Ph.D.

Zoology Department

University of British Columbia

#3231-6270 University Blvd.

Vancouver, B.C.

Canada V6T 1Z4

Phone: +1 604-822-2373

e-mail: morell at zoology.ubc.ca 


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