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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Changes in ultrastructural characteristics of endolymphatic sac ribosome-rich cells of the rat during development.

It has recently been demonstrated that endolymphatic sac (ES) ribosome-rich (dark) cells respond to induced endolymph changes and are thus likely to be involved in endolymph homeostasis. Therefore, we studied the ultrastructural characteristics of rat ES ribosome-rich cells during development in order to determine the cellular distribution of organelles involved in protein metabolism, secretion and absorption, indicative for their contribution to endolymph homeostasis. During embryonal stages ribosome-rich cells contain a limited number and variety of organelles and are predominantly involved in the production of components for cell growth and differentiation. In the young adult stage (P60) three different states of ribosome-rich cells may be distinguished. State A resembles a cell with only limited metabolic activities whereas state B is characterized by numerous different intracellular organelles and is considered to be involved in production and secretion as well as absorption and degradation of complex proteins. A third cellular state, state C, is filled with phagolysosomes and contains very few other organelles. This is considered to be a final (pre)apoptotic state. Autoradiography data suggest that ES ribosome-rich cells are capable of synthesis and secretion of tyrosine-containing proteins and may thus be involved in regulation of the osmolarity of endolymph based on the capacity to bind cations as well as water molecules. In addition, ES ribosome-rich cells appear to synthesize and secrete fucosylated glycoproteins into the endolymph. In conclusion, the present data suggest that ES ribosome-rich cells are actively involved in endolymph homeostasis through secretion and absorption of complex proteins and it is hypothesized that they are able to adapt their function or activities in response to changes in endolymph composition.[1]


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