The purpose of this study was to examine the morphological and functional development of the lateral wall of the scala media of the cochlea in miniature pigs; light and transmission electron microscopy and electrophysiology were used for this purpose. We showed that the lateral wall of the scala media of the cochlea appears at embryonic Day 21 (E21) when the cochlear duct begins to form. From E28 to E49, the lateral wall can be distinguished according to its position along the cochlea. At E56, cells in the lateral wall begin to differentiate into three different types. At E70, three cell types, marginal, intermediate and basal, can be clearly distinguished. At E91, the stria vascularis is adult-like and the organ of Corti is also morphologically mature. The average endocochlear potential measured from the second turn of the cochlea (at E98, postnatal Day 1 (P1), P13 and P30) was 71.4±2.5 (n≤7), 78.8±1.5 (n≤10), 77.3±2.3 (n≤10) and 78.0±2.1 mV (n≤10), respectively. Our results suggest that in miniature pigs the stria vascularis develops during the embryonic period, concurrent with maturation of the organ of Corti. The magnitude of the endocochlear potential reached its mature level when the stria vascularis was morphologically adult-like at E98. These findings provide a morphological and functional basis for future animal studies using the miniature pig model concerning the pathogenesis of various inner-ear diseases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Reproductive Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Developmental Biology