Development of the endolymphatic sac and duct in the Japanese red- bellied newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster

Wenyuan Gao, Michael L. Wiederhold, Jeffery L. Harrison

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3 Scopus citations


The development and maturation of the endolymphatic sac (ES) and duct (ED) were studied in the newt Cynops p. pyrrhogaster. The ES first appears as an oval capsule at the dorsal-medial tip of the otic vesicle at stage 39, about 11 days after oviposition. The ES consists of polymorphous epithelial cells with a minimum of cytoplasm. The intercellular space (IS) between the epithelial cells is narrow and has a smooth surface. At stage 44, the size of the ES increases as many vacuoles in the IS become filled. At stage 46, 18 days after oviposition, the ES elongates markedly and a slit-like lumen is found in the ES. The epithelium contains a few cell organelles which are scattered in the cytoplasm. The vacuoles in the IS are fused, which expands the IS. Two days later (stage 48), floccular material (endolymph) is present in the expanded lumen. The IS dilates and has a wide and irregular appearance. At stage 50, approximately 26 days after oviposition, the ES extends and expands significantly and crystals (otoconia) can now be seen in the widened lumen of the ES. The cytoplasm of the cuboidal epithelial cells contains an abundance of vesicles surrounded by ribosomes and Golgi complexes. Intercellular digitations are formed in the expanded IS. At stage 54, the ES forms a large bellow-like pouch. Numerous otoconia accumulate in the lumen. Free floating cells and cell debris can be seen in the lumen at this stage. The epithelial cells contain numerous cytoplasmic organelles which are evenly distributed in the cytoplasm. Granules are found in the apical and lateral cytoplasm. The IS is loose and displays a labyrinthine appearance. The primitive ED first appears as a connection between the ES and the saccule but no lumen is present inside at stage 39. At stage 46, a narrow lumen is formed in the ED, which corresponds to the formation of the ES lumen. At stage 50, as the ED extends, floccular material is seen in the lumen. At stage 54, the ED bears numerous microvilli on its luminal surface. Otoconia and endolymph are present in the ED. Tight junctions between the epithelial cells are formed at stage 46. A fully developed intercellular junctional complex is produced at stage 54. Based on the development of the ES and ED, the maturation of function of the ES and ED are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-72
Number of pages11
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 1998


  • Development
  • Endolymphatic sac and duct
  • Intercellular space
  • Otoconia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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