Tonotopic morphometry of the lamina reticularis of the guinea pig cochlea with associated microstructures and related mechanical implications

J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2014 Feb;15(1):1-11. doi: 10.1007/s10162-013-0420-1. Epub 2013 Oct 29.


Morphometry of the lamina reticularis of the guinea pig cochlea was performed using scanning electron microscopy. Seventy-four geometrical parameters of the lamina reticularis, the bundles of stereocilia, and individual stereocilia, in all rows of hair cells and within the individual hair cells, were measured at ten equally spaced locations along the longitudinal direction of the cochlea. Variations of the parameters versus the longitudinal coordinate were statistically analyzed and fitted with polynomials (constant, linear, or quadratic). Our data show that a unique set of geometrical parameters of inner and outer hair cells is typical for every frequency-dependent position at the lamina reticularis. Morphology of the outer hair cell structures varies more than respective parameters of the inner hair cells. Mechanical modeling using the obtained geometrical parameters provides a novel glance at the mechanical characteristics with respect to the cochlear tonotopy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena / physiology
  • Cochlea / physiology*
  • Cochlea / ultrastructure*
  • Guinea Pigs / anatomy & histology*
  • Guinea Pigs / physiology*
  • Hair Cells, Auditory, Inner / physiology
  • Hair Cells, Auditory, Inner / ultrastructure
  • Hair Cells, Auditory, Outer / physiology
  • Hair Cells, Auditory, Outer / ultrastructure
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Models, Animal
  • Models, Biological
  • Stereocilia / physiology*
  • Stereocilia / ultrastructure*