Distribution of F-actin and fodrin in the hair cells of the guinea pig cochlea as revealed by confocal fluorescence microscopy

Hear Res. 1992 Jun;60(1):80-8. doi: 10.1016/0378-5955(92)90061-q.


We double-stained paraformaldehyde fixed guinea pig cochleas with rhodaminated phalloidin to detect F-actin and with a monoclonal antibody against non-erythroid spectrin (fodrin). The hair cells were studied in surface specimens of the organ of Corti with confocal fluorescence microscopy. In serial optical sections, phalloidin stained the stereocilia, cuticular plate, and a circumferential ring beneath it in the inner and outer hair cells (IHCs and OHCs). The cytoplasm of the IHCs and the OHCs was unlabelled, but the infracuticular network of the OHCs in the upper turns showed a strong reaction. The lateral plasma membrane was unreactive with phalloidin in the IHCs and OHCs, except in the basal turn, where a moderate reaction, probably representing actin of Deiter's cups, was seen along the lateral walls of the basal pole of the OHCs. Fodrin was similarly seen in the cuticular plate, in a circumferential ring beneath it, and in the infracuticular network of the apical OHCs. The most interesting finding was the fodrin-specific distinct labelling of the lateral cell surface in the OHCs of the basal cochlear turn. This staining diminished towards the apex and was practically absent in the OHCs located above the level of 15 mm from the round window. The lateral cell surface of IHCs showed moderate fodrin labelling in all cochlear turns. This staining was much weaker than that seen in the basal OHCs. Fodrin labelling revealed deformation from the regular cylindrical shape in midportion of the OHC bodies in the basal turn of the cochlea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Spectrin / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Actins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • fodrin
  • Spectrin