Visualization and contractile activity of cochlear pericytes in the capillaries of the spiral ligament

Min Dai, Alfred Nuttall, Yue Yang, Xiao Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pericytes, mural cells located on microvessels, are considered to play an important role in the formation of the vasculature and the regulation of local blood flow in some organs. Little is known about the physiology of cochlear pericytes. In order to investigate the function of cochlear pericytes, we developed a method to visualize cochlear pericytes using diaminofluorescein-2 diacetate (DAF-2DA) and intravital fluorescence microscopy. This method can permit the study of the effect of vasoactive agents on pericytes under the in vivo and normal physiological condition. The specificity of the labeling method was verified by the immunofluorescence labeling of pericyte maker proteins such as desmin, neural proteoglycan (NG2), and thymocyte differentiation antigen 1 (Thy-1). Superfused K+ and Ca2+ to the cochlear lateral wall resulted in localized constriction of capillaries at pericyte locations both in vivo and in vitro, while there was no obvious change in cochlear capillary diameters with application of the adrenergic neurotransmitter noradrenaline. The method could be an effective way to visualize cochlear pericytes and microvessels and study lateral wall vascular physiology. Moreover, we demonstrate for the first time that cochlear pericytes have contractility, which may be important for regulation of cochlear blood flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalHearing Research
Volume254
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 11 2009

Fingerprint

Spiral Ligament of Cochlea
Pericytes
Cochlea
Microvessels
Desmin
Differentiation Antigens
Thymocytes
Fluorescence Microscopy
Constriction
Adrenergic Agents
Fluorescent Antibody Technique
Neurotransmitter Agents
Blood Vessels
Norepinephrine

Keywords

  • Capillary of spiral ligament
  • Cochlear pericyte
  • Diaminofluorescein-2 diacetate (DAF-2DA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems

Cite this

Visualization and contractile activity of cochlear pericytes in the capillaries of the spiral ligament. / Dai, Min; Nuttall, Alfred; Yang, Yue; Shi, Xiao.

In: Hearing Research, Vol. 254, No. 1-2, 11.08.2009, p. 100-107.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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