A morphometric study of the pallid mutant mouse inner ear

Dennis R. Trune, David J. Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Mice homozygous for the mutant gene pallid (pa/pa) often lack otoconia in some or all of their maculae and are used to study the influences of gravity receptor hypostimulation on vestibular-related behaviors. Since the value of this animal model is based on the assumption that the vestibular sensorineural elements are normal, a morphometric analysis was done on the inner ear of these otoconia-deficient mice to see whether sensorineural structures are also affected by the pallid gene. In pallid mice lacking all otoconia, the sensory epithelia of the utricle, saccule, and semicircular canal cristae were the same size as in their heterozygous (pa/+) controls. Although the superior and inferior divisions of the vestibular ganglion of the pallid mice were smaller than normal, the first-order neurons within these divisions were normal in size, number, and density. However, the superior divisions in both groups had larger neurons than did the inferior divisions. Within the pallid cochlea, first-order auditory neurons within the spiral ganglion were smaller than normal, but the scala media was larger. Since the significant vestibular influences of the pallid gene are limited primarily to the otoconia, behavioral abnormalities reported for these otoconia-deficient mice are apparently due only to gravity receptor hypostimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-272
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1983


  • Cochlea
  • Morphometry
  • Otoconia
  • Pallid mouse
  • Vestibule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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