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Hear Res. 1994 Aug;78(2):149-57.

Immunocytochemical detection of choline acetyltransferase in the human organ of Corti.

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Department of Otolaryngology, University of Innsbruck, Austria.


In the mammalian cochlea acetylcholine has been considered a major neurotransmitter of the lateral and medial efferent fibers. The aims of the present study were to investigate the expression of ChAT in the human cochlea and to develop a new method for immunohistochemical investigations in the human cochlea both at the light and electronmicroscopic level. We thus examined the ChAT-like immunoreactivity in the human inner ear using light and electron microscopy with a pre-embedding technique. Our present results agree with the previously published data acquired in rodent species. The ChAT-like immunostaining could be found in the inner spiral fibers, the inner spiral bundle, tunnel crossing fibers and at the base of the outer hair cells. No staining was noted in the negative controls experiments, while rat cochleas used as positive controls showed the usual ChAT-like immunostaining as described above. The main difference between human and rat cochleas was that the efferent nerve supply seems to be less pronounced in the human cochleas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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