Experimentally (atoxyl) induced ampullar degeneration and damage to the maculae utriculi

Acta Otolaryngol. May-Jun 1977;83(5-6):429-40. doi: 10.3109/00016487709128868.


Atoxyl administration to guinea pigs may cause vesicular degeneration of both the secretory and the sensory regions of the cristae ampullares and macula utriculi. Some of the severely damaged secretory cells were even expelled from the surface into the endolymphatic space. The nerve chalices of type I hair cells disintegrated. The degeneration of the secretory region will thus block the endolymph circulation and the electrolyte balance is likely to collapse. Whether hair cell degeneration can best be explained on this basis (indirect atoxyl effect) or by a direct action of atoxyl on the hair cells and the nerve chalices of type I hair cells is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Aniline Compounds / poisoning
  • Animals
  • Arsenic Poisoning*
  • Ear, Inner / drug effects*
  • Endolymph / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Epithelium / ultrastructure
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Labyrinth Diseases / chemically induced
  • Nerve Degeneration
  • Saccule and Utricle / drug effects*
  • Saccule and Utricle / pathology
  • Saccule and Utricle / ultrastructure


  • Aniline Compounds