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Na+, K+-ATPase (Na,K-ATPase) is an ubiquitous enzyme in the inner ear and a key factor in the maintenance of the osmotic gradient of the endolymph. This study uses Na,K-ATPase α1 subunit immunoreactivity (IR) to identify cellular structures in the normal and disease human cochlea. Formalin-fixed celloidin-embedded (FFCE) human temporal bone sections were immunoreacted with mouse monoclonal antibodies against Na,K-ATPase α1 subunit. Na,K-ATPase α1 IR was examined in the cochlea of 30 patients: four with normal hearing, 5 with Meniere's disease, and 21 with other inner ear diseases: 11 male, 19 female; ages 42 to 96 years-old (yo), average age of 77 yo. Na,K-ATPase α1 IR area was quantified using the ImageJ software program. Na,K-ATPase α1 IR was located in the stria vascularis, and in type I, II and IV fibrocytes of the spiral ligament in the cochlea from patients with normal hearing. Na,K-ATPase α1 IR was seen in Deiters's cells and inner phalangeal cells of the organ of Corti. Na,K-ATPase α1 IR was present in satellite cells that surround the neurons of the spiral ganglia. In the inner ear of pathological specimens, Na,K-ATPase IR area was decreased (compared to the normal) in the stria vascularis, supporting cells in the organ of Corti and satellite cells of the spiral ganglia. These results show that Na,K-ATPase α1 IR is a good marker to identify cellular structures of the human inner ear and may be used to study cellular changes in the cochlea associated with aging and disease. The ubiquitous localization of Na,K-ATPase α1 in the human cochlea is consistent with the Na,K-ATPase role in ionic homeostasis and osmolarity, similar to that seen in animal models. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Ryan Stephenson, Astkhik Mangasarian, Gail Ishiyama, Kumiko Hosokawa, Seiji Hosokawa, Akira Ishiyama, Ivan A Lopez. Immunohistochemical location of Na+, K+-ATPase α1 subunit in the human inner ear. Hearing research. 2021 Feb;400:108113

PMID: 33221698

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