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August 1967

Reissner's Membrane: An Ultrastructural Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;86(2):143-151. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760050145004

REISSNER'S membrane1 separates scala media from scala vestibuli. It extends from the limbus to the stria vascularis at its superior extent. Until Naftalin and Harrison2 proposed that it served as a filter allowing the passage of sodium, but not potassium, ions from scala media to scala vestibuli, Reissner's membrane was assumed to function as a simple isolator. The thickness and relatively large number of cells in the lower layer, together with the increased surface area (microvilli), led Lawrence et al3 to speculate that Reissner's membrane might well be a selectively absorbing tissue. Whether or not it serves this function is important to longitudinal and radial theories of endolymph flow.2-12 The authors therefore feel that an ultrastructural description is timely.

Methods and Materials  Dark young guinea pigs weighing between 250 and 350 gm were decapitated, the bulli removed, the labyrinth opened and perfused with 2% veronal acetate buffered osmium tetroxide within

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