Freeze-fracture studies on the synapses in the organ of Corti. Academic Article uri icon


  • Receptoneural junctions and synapses in the organ of Corti of the chinchilla have been examined with the freeze-fracture technique. The presynaptic membranes at the receptoneural junctions of inner and outer hair cells have many structural features in common with membranes found at chemical synapses outside the organ of Corti. However, the membranes of the postsynaptic afferent terminals are quite different depending on whether they are part of an inner or outer hair cell synapse. These differences in the distribution of intramembrane particles suggest that the transmitters, or transmitter actions, may be different at these two synapses. The distribution of particles in the postsynaptic membrane at efferent synapses with outer hair cell differs from that in the postsynaptic membrane at efferent synapses with afferent terminals or fibers, suggesting that transmitter actions at these locations could also differ.

publication date

  • February 15, 1977