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Neurosci Lett. 1979 Dec;15(2-3):97-102.

Significance of presynaptic formations in early stages of cochlear synaptogenesis.


Very early stages of cochlear synaptogenesis are described in inner (IHCs) and outer hair cells (OHCs) of cat foetuses. Ten days before birth (DBB) well-formed synaptic contacts were found between afferent dendrites and both IHCs and OHCs. At the IHC level a preliminary stage before functioning has been proposed. But at the OHC level where the adult cell membrane becomes mainly postsynaptic, we could only formulate hypotheses based on phylogenetic considerations (afferents precede efferents), or on embryology (presynaptic specializations play a role in the arrival and growth of fibers around the hair cell).

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