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Article
September 1947

MICROSCOPIC STUDY OF THE INNER EAR OF THE ATAXIC RABBIT

Author Affiliations

CLEVELAND
From the Department of Anatomy, Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1947;46(3):335-340. doi:10.1001/archotol.1947.00690020346007
Abstract

IN 1942 Sawin1 reported evidence that the loss of coordination occurring in a race of domestic rabbits is hereditary. The neuropathogenesis of this disorder proved to be an initial degeneration of the vestibular and cochlear nuclei, with resulting breakdown of the central pathways of these systems.2 The consistent pattern of damage seen in the central nuclei of the auditory and vestibular tracts raised the question of what structural changes might result in their sensory end organs, i. e., the cochlea and the vestibule. The present report concerns the histologic study of a series of inner ears of 10 ataxic rabbits and 5 entirely unrelated normal controls of as nearly the same ages as possible.

MATERIAL AND METHODS  The rabbits were observed until the ataxia was well advanced. They were then anesthetized, and Susa-Heidenhain fixative3 instilled into the auditory bullas and inner ears. Decalcification was done in 5 per cent trichloroacetic

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