The fate mapping of the eleventh and twelfth day mouse otocyst: an in vitro study of the sites of origin of the embryonic inner ear sensory structures

J Morphol. 1978 Sep;157(3):249-67. doi: 10.1002/jmor.1051570302.


An experiment was undertaken to determine which sensory structures of the mouse embryo inner ear developed from what portion of the mouse otocyst. Otocysts of gestation days 10, 11, 12, and 13 were divided by surgical dissection into six anatomical groups: dorsal, ventral, anterior, posterior, medial and lateral halves. They were organ cultured separately. After a period of ten days, the explanted tissues were harvested and processed histologically for microscopic analysis. The surgical control specimens fixed at the time of explantation were composed of undifferentiated ectodermal cells for tissues of gestation days 10, 11, and 12. Otocysts of gestation days 11, and 12 showed, during the course of their subsequent growth, that the three semicircular ducts and their associated cristae developed from the dorsal and lateral halves. Only the anterior and posterior canals and cristae originated from the medial portion. The posterior half gave rise to the posterior crista and the anterior half provided for the development of the anterior and lateral cristae. The cochlear duct and its sensory epithelium developed in all the anatomical groups except the dorsal half. The utricle developed in the dorsal section of the middle third of the otocyst, while the utricular macula developed in the anterior half of the same section of the otocyst. The saccule and its macula differentiated from the ventral section of the middle third of the anterior half.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ear, Inner / embryology*
  • Gestational Age
  • Mice / embryology*
  • Organ Culture Techniques