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Yonsei Med J. 1992 Mar;33(1):64-71.

Development of the mucociliary system in the eustachian tube and middle ear: murine model.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


In order to describe the developmental anatomy of the murine eustachian tube and its related structures, seventy six mice of ages ranging from gestational day 11 to postnatal day 21 were investigated through the light and electron microscopic observations. Development of the ciliated cells was seen concurrently in both the eustachian tube and middle ear on the 16 th gestation day, one day earlier than the epithelial secretory cells appeared in both the eustachian tube and middle ear. The number of ciliated cells and secretory cells increased rapidly after birth. Tubal glands were well identified with evidence of secretory activity around the time of birth. Thus, the findings of this study indicate that the mucociliary defense system starts to develop during the fetal stage and is well established immediately after birth.

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