Ultrastructure of the endolymphatic sac in the larva of the Japanese red-bellied newt Cynops pyrrhogaster

Wenyuan Gao, Michael Wiederhold, Robert Hejl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The ultrastructure of the endolymphatic sac (ES) of the late stage larva of the Japanese red-bellied newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster (stage 57), was examined by light and transmission electron microscopy. The two endolymphatic sacs are located at the dorsal-medial side of the otic vesicle on the dorsal-lateral side of the midbrain in the cranial cavity. The wall of the sac is composed of a layer of cubical epithelial cells with loose, interposed intercellular spaces. The sac contains a large luminal cavity, in which endolymph and numerous otoconia are present. The epithelial cells of different portions of the sac have a similar structure. These cells contain an abundance of cytoplasmic organelles, including ribosomes, Golgi complexes, and numerous vesicles. Two types of vesicles are found in the epithelial cells: the 'floccular' vesicle and the 'granular' vesicle. The floccular vesicles are located in the supra- and lateral-nuclear cytoplasm and contain flocccular material. The granular vesicles have a fine granular substance and are usually situated apposed to the apical cell membrane. The granular vesicles are suggested to be secreted into the lumen, while the floccular vesicles are thought to be absorbed from the lumen and conveyed to the intercellular spaces by the epithelial cells. The apical surfaces of the epithelial cells bear numerous microvilli. Apparently floating cells, which bear long microvilli on the free surfaces, are observed in the lumen of the ES. Based on the fine structure, the function of the endolymphatic sac of the newt Cynops pyrrhogaster is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-559
Number of pages11
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998


  • Endolymphatic sac
  • Fluid transport
  • Newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster (Urodela)
  • Otoconia
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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