Characterization of ootolith soluble-matrix producing cells in the saccular epithelium of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) inner ear.
Although the organic matrix may play an important role in the growth of teleost otoliths, cellular contributions to the production of the organic matrix have been studied in only a small number of teleost species with limited methods, and are still poorly understood. In order to characterize saccular epithelial cells which produce otolith matrix, antiserum was raised against an EDTA-soluble fraction of otolith matrix (otolith soluble-matrix, OSM) of the rainbow trout. The components in the OSM and in the endolymph were characterized by immunoblotting. The saccular epithelium was immunohistochemically stained with the antiserum and the ultrastructure of OSM immunoreactive cells was studied. By immunoblotting, multiple components (> 94.0 kDa [smeared] and 43.0 kDa) in the OSM reacted with the antiserum, whereas only one band (> 94.0 kDa) was detected in the endolymph. Under immunohistochemical staining, reactions to the antiserum were observed in columnar cells lined at the most peripheral region of the sensory epithelium, transitional epithelial cells, and squamous epithelial cells. Electron microscopic observations revealed that all three types of cells were equipped with extended rough endoplasmic reticulum and prominent Golgi apparatus, suggesting the active production of organic material(s). Dilations of translucent vesicles, apocrine-like extrusions of cytoplasm, and vesicles containing many minute globules were frequently associated with the apical surface of these cells. Some ruptured vesicles were observed, releasing their contents into the endolymphatic space. The present study identified columnar cells lining the most peripheral region of the sensory epithelium, transitional epithelial cells, and squamous epithelial cells as the OSM-producing cells. We suggest that the OSM components are secreted and dissolved into the endolymph and subsequently deposited onto the otolith. (+info)
Chemical composition of saccular endolymph and otolith in fish inner ear: lack of spatial uniformity.
Fish otoliths provide a record of age, growth, and environmental influences. In both trout and turbot, spatial chemical investigation of the endolymph surrounding the otolith (sagitta) showed a lack of uniformity. Proteins, PO(3-)(4), and Mg(2+) were significantly more concentrated in the proximal (facing the macula) than distal zone, whereas the opposite was observed for K(+) and total CO(2) (totCO(2)). Na(+) concentration ([Na(+)]) was 20% higher in the proximal zone in trout but not in turbot. Total Ca and Cl(-) contents were uniformly distributed in both species. We propose that the endolymphatic gradients of protein and totCO(2) concentration within the endolymph are involved in the otolithic biocalcification process. Microchemical analyses of otolith sections by wavelength dispersive spectrometry showed a lack of spatial uniformity in the K/Ca and Na/Ca ratios, whereas the Sr/Ca ratio was uniform. There is a clear relationship between endolymph and otolith [K(+)], but the interpretation of the results for [Na(+)] needs further investigation. Thus the lack of uniformity in the otolith composition must be taken into account when investigating otolith microchemistry. (+info)
Canal-otolith interactions after off-vertical axis rotations I. Spatial reorientation of horizontal vestibuloocular reflex.
We examined the three-dimensional (3-D) spatial orientation of postrotatory eye velocity after horizontal off-vertical axis rotations by varying the final body orientation with respect to gravity. Three rhesus monkeys were oriented in one of two positions before the onset of rotation: pitched 24 degrees nose-up or 90 degrees nose-up (supine) relative to the earth-horizontal plane and rotated at +/-60 degrees /s around the body-longitudinal axis. After 10 turns, the animals were stopped in 1 of 12 final positions separated by 30 degrees. An empirical analysis of the postrotatory responses showed that the resultant response plane remained space-invariant, i.e., accurately represented the actual head tilt plane at rotation stop. The alignment of the response vector with the spatial vertical was less complete. A complementary analysis, based on a 3-D model that implemented the spatial transformation and dynamic interaction of otolith and lateral semicircular canal signals, confirmed the empirical description of the spatial response. In addition, it allowed an estimation of the low-pass filter time constants in central otolith and semicircular canal pathways as well as the weighting ratio between direct and inertially transformed canal signals in the output. Our results support the hypothesis that the central vestibular system represents head velocity in gravity-centered coordinates by sensory integration of otolith and semicircular canal signals. (+info)
Primate translational vestibuloocular reflexes. III. Effects of bilateral labyrinthine electrical stimulation.
The effects of functional, reversible ablation and potential recruitment of the most irregular otolith afferents on the dynamics and sensitivity of the translational vestibuloocular reflexes (trVORs) were investigated in rhesus monkeys trained to fixate near and far targets. Translational motion stimuli consisted of either steady-state lateral and fore-aft sinusoidal oscillations or short-lasting transient lateral head displacements. Short-duration (usually <2 s) anodal (inhibitory) and cathodal (excitatory) currents (50-100 microA) were delivered bilaterally during motion. In the presence of anodal labyrinthine stimulation, trVOR sensitivity and its dependence on viewing distance were significantly decreased. In addition, anodal currents significantly increased phase lags. During transient motion, anodal stimulation resulted in significantly lower initial eye acceleration and more sluggish responses. Cathodal currents tended to have opposite effects. The main characteristics of these results were simulated by a simple model where both regularly and irregularly discharging afferents contribute to the trVORs. Anodal labyrinthine currents also were found to decrease eye velocity during long-duration, constant velocity rotations, although results were generally more variable compared with those during translational motion. (+info)
Convergent properties of vestibular-related brain stem neurons in the gerbil.
Three classes of vestibular-related neurons were found in and near the prepositus and medial vestibular nuclei of alert or decerebrate gerbils, those responding to: horizontal translational motion, horizontal head rotation, or both. Their distribution ratios were 1:2:2, respectively. Many cells responsive to translational motion exhibited spatiotemporal characteristics with both response gain and phase varying as a function of the stimulus vector angle. Rotationally sensitive neurons were distributed as Type I, II, or III responses (sensitive to ipsilateral, contralateral, or both directions, respectively) in the ratios of 4:6:1. Four tested factors shaped the response dynamics of the sampled neurons: canal-otolith convergence, oculomotor-related activity, rotational Type (I or II), and the phase of the maximum response. Type I nonconvergent cells displayed increasing gains with increasing rotational stimulus frequency (0.1-2.0 Hz, 60 degrees /s), whereas Type II neurons with convergent inputs had response gains that markedly decreased with increasing translational stimulus frequency (0.25-2.0 Hz, +/-0.1 g). Type I convergent and Type II nonconvergent neurons exhibited essentially flat gains across the stimulus frequency range. Oculomotor-related activity was noted in 30% of the cells across all functional types, appearing as burst/pause discharge patterns related to the fast phase of nystagmus during head rotation. Oculomotor-related activity was correlated with enhanced dynamic range compared with the same category that had no oculomotor-related response. Finally, responses that were in-phase with head velocity during rotation exhibited greater gains with stimulus frequency increments than neurons with out-of-phase responses. In contrast, for translational motion, neurons out of phase with head acceleration exhibited low-pass characteristics, whereas in-phase neurons did not. Data from decerebrate preparations revealed that although similar response types could be detected, the sampled cells generally had lower background discharge rates, on average one-third lower response gains, and convergent properties that differed from those found in the alert animals. On the basis of the dynamic response of identified cell types, we propose a pair of models in which inhibitory input from vestibular-related neurons converges on oculomotor neurons with excitatory inputs from the vestibular nuclei. Simple signal convergence and combinations of different types of vestibular labyrinth information can enrich the dynamic characteristics of the rotational and translational vestibuloocular responses. (+info)
Spatiotemporal processing of linear acceleration: primary afferent and central vestibular neuron responses.
Spatiotemporal convergence and two-dimensional (2-D) neural tuning have been proposed as a major neural mechanism in the signal processing of linear acceleration. To examine this hypothesis, we studied the firing properties of primary otolith afferents and central otolith neurons that respond exclusively to horizontal linear accelerations of the head (0.16-10 Hz) in alert rhesus monkeys. Unlike primary afferents, the majority of central otolith neurons exhibited 2-D spatial tuning to linear acceleration. As a result, central otolith dynamics vary as a function of movement direction. During movement along the maximum sensitivity direction, the dynamics of all central otolith neurons differed significantly from those observed for the primary afferent population. Specifically at low frequencies (+info)
Interaction of the vestibular system and baroreflexes on sympathetic nerve activity in humans.
Muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) is altered by vestibular otolith stimulation. This study examined interactive effects of the vestibular system and baroreflexes on MSNA in humans. In study 1, MSNA was measured during 4 min of lower body negative pressure (LBNP) at either -10 or -30 mmHg with subjects in prone posture. During the 3rd min of LBNP, subjects lowered their head over the end of a table (head-down rotation, HDR) to engage the otolith organs. The head was returned to baseline upright position during the 4th min. LBNP increased MSNA above baseline during both trials with greater increases during the -30-mmHg trial. HDR increased MSNA further during the 3rd min of LBNP at -10 and -30 mmHg (Delta32% and Delta34%, respectively; P < 0.01). MSNA returned to pre-HDR levels during the 4th min of LBNP when the head was returned upright. In study 2, MSNA was measured during HDR, LBNP, and simultaneously performed HDR and LBNP. The sum of MSNA responses during individual HDR and LBNP trials was not significantly different from that observed during HDR and LBNP performed together (Delta131 +/- 28 vs. Delta118 +/- 47 units and Delta340 +/- 77 vs. Delta380 +/- 90 units for the -10 and -30 trials, respectively). These results demonstrate that vestibular otolith stimulation can increase MSNA during unloading of the cardiopulmonary and arterial baroreflexes. Also, the interaction between the vestibulosympathetic reflex and baroreflexes is additive in humans. These studies indicate that the vestibulosympathetic reflex may help defend against orthostatic challenges in humans by increasing sympathetic outflow. (+info)
The overlapping roles of the inner ear and lateral line: the active space of dipole source detection.
The problems associated with the detection of sounds and other mechanical disturbances in the aquatic environment differ greatly from those associated with airborne sounds. The differences are primarily due to the incompressibility of water and the corresponding increase in importance of the acoustic near field. The near field, or hydrodynamic field, is characterized by steep spatial gradients in pressure, and detection of the accelerations associated with these gradients is performed by both the inner ear and the lateral line systems of fishes. Acceleration-sensitive otolithic organs are present in all fishes and provide these animals with a form of inertial audition. The detection of pressure gradients, by both the lateral line and inner ear, is the taxonomically most widespread mechanism of sound-source detection amongst vertebrates, and is thus the most likely primitive mode of detecting sound sources. Surprisingly, little is known about the capabilities of either the lateral line or the otolithic endorgan in the detection of vibratory dipole sources. Theoretical considerations for the overlapping roles of the inner ear and lateral line systems in midwater predict that the lateral line will operate over a shorter distance range than the inner ear, although with a much greater spatial resolution. Our empirical results of dipole detection by mottled sculpin, a benthic fish, do not agree with theoretical predictions based on midwater fishes, in that the distance ranges of the two systems appear to be approximately equal. This is almost certainly as a result of physical coupling between the fishes and the substrate. Thus, rather than having a greater active range, the inner ear appears to have a reduced distance range in benthic fishes, and the lateral line distance range may be concomitantly extended. (+info)