[MARMAM] New Publication: Morphological Evidence for the Sensitivity of Ear Canal of Odontocetes

Steffen De Vreese steffen.devreese at studenti.unipd.it
Mon Mar 9 07:16:33 PDT 2020

Dear MARMAM colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following paper,
available online:

De Vreese, S., André, M., Cozzi, B.*,* Centelleghe, C., van der Schaar, M.,
& Mazzariol, S. Morphological Evidence for the Sensitivity of the Ear Canal
of Odontocetes as shown by Immunohistochemistry and Transmission Electron
Microscopy. *Sci Rep* *10, *4191 (2020).

The function of the external ear canal in cetaceans is still under debate
and its morphology is largely unknown. Immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses
using antibodies specific for nervous tissue (anti-S100, anti-NSE, anti-NF,
and anti-PGP 9.5), together with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and
various histological techniques, were carried out to investigate the
peripheral nervous system of the ear canals of several species of toothed
whales and terrestrial Cetartiodactyla. This study highlights the
innervation of the ear canal with the presence of lamellar corpuscles over
its entire course, and their absence in all studied terrestrial mammals.
Each corpuscle consisted of a central axon, surrounded by lamellae of
Schwann receptor cells, surrounded by a thin cellular layer, as shown by
IHC and TEM. These findings indicate that the corpuscles are
mechanoreceptors that resemble the inner core of Pacinian corpuscles
without capsule or outer core, and were labelled as simple lamellar
corpuscles. They form part of a sensory system that may represent a unique
phylogenetic feature of cetaceans, and an evolutionary adaptation to life
in the marine environment. Although the exact function of the ear canal is
not fully clear, we provide essential knowledge and a preliminary
hypothetical deviation on its function as a unique sensory organ.

All the best,
Steffen De Vreese, MVM, Doctoral candidate
Dipartimento di Biomedicina Comparata e Alimentazione (BCA) - Università
degli Studi di Padova (It)
Laboratori d'Aplicacions Bioacústiques (LAB) - Universitat Politécnica de
Catalunya (Es)
steffen.devreese at studenti.unipd.it
steffen.devreese at lab.upc.edu
Skype: devreesesteffen
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