[Skip to Navigation]
August 1971

The Osteocytes of the Human Labyrinthine Capsule

Author Affiliations

Sendai, Japan; Graz, Austria; New York
From the Department of Otolaryngology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1971;94(2):139-150. doi:10.1001/archotol.1971.00770070375010

Studies on 80 human temporal bones from patients of all ages indicated that the labyrinthine capsule remains metabolically active throughout life. When mucopolysaccharide stains were used, most of the lacunae, which has appeared empty in sections stained with hematoxylin-eosin or with basic Fuchsin, were actually filled with a substance that gave a positive mucopolysaccharide reaction. This substance is contained in the thick limiting membranes (Grenzscheiden of resting osstocytes). Nuclei were discernible in most lacunae even in specimens obtained at an advanced age. The osteocytes were most numerous and the canalicular network was densest within the skein-like bone of the enchondral layer. Micropetrosis was a rare finding. The demonstration of fats or lipids within osteocytes is not necessarily indicative of either degenerative or autolytic changes, as, starting at a certain age, lipids are normally and invariably present within osteocytes.

Add or change institution