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

Immunohistochemical localization of the Na-K-Cl co-transporter (NKCC1) in the gerbil inner ear.

We mapped the cellular and subcellular distribution of the Na-K-Cl co-transporter (NKCC) in the adult gerbil inner ear by immunostaining with a monoclonal antibody (MAb T4) generated against human colon NKCC. Heavy immunolabeling was seen in the basolateral plasma membrane of marginal cells in the stria vascularis and dark cells in the vestibular system. Subpopulations of fibrocytes in the cochlear spiral ligament and limbus and underlying the vestibular neurosensory epithelium also stained with moderate to strong intensity, apparently along their entire plasmalemma. Because MAb T4 recognizes both the basolateral secretory (NKCC1) and the apical absorptive (NKCC2) isoforms of the co-transporter, we employed reverse transcription and the polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to explore isoform diversity in inner ear tissues. Using NKCC1 and NKCC2 isoform-specific PCR primers based on mouse and human sequences, only transcripts for NKCC1 were detected in the gerbil inner ear. The presence of abundant NKCC1 in the basolateral plasmalemma of strial marginal and vestibular dark cells confirms conclusions drawn from pharmacological and physiological data. The co-expression of NKCC1 and Na,K-ATPase in highly specialized subpopulations of cochlear and vestibular fibrocytes provides further evidence for their role in recycling K+ leaked or effluxed through hair cells into perilymph back to endolymph, as postulated in current models of inner ear ion homeostasis.[1]


  1. Immunohistochemical localization of the Na-K-Cl co-transporter (NKCC1) in the gerbil inner ear. Crouch, J.J., Sakaguchi, N., Lytle, C., Schulte, B.A. J. Histochem. Cytochem. (1997) [Pubmed]
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