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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 16 - Special Senses

Plate 16.314 Semicircular Canal

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed

Crista ampullaris

Plate 16.314 Semicircular Canal

Guinea pig, Müller's fluid, iron hematoxylin stain, 612 x.


Cupula: Gelatinous dome-shaped mass in which the hairs of the hair cells are embedded. Similar to the cells of the otolithic membrane but lacks otoconia. Movements of the cupula are transmitted to the hairs of the receptor cells.

Hair cells: Flask-shaped cells that occupy the outer part of the epithelium but do not reach the basement membrane. Nuclei close to the lumen. A tuft of hairs is found in the apex of each cell. Compare hair cells to the adjacent tall, columnar sustentacular cells with basal nuclei that reach the basement membrane.

Nerve fibers: Myelinated processes of the vestibular nerve lose their myelin close to the hair cells of the crista. Naked fibers ramify among the hair cells of the crista, forming a dense arborization.  

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