The vesicles forming during recovery in the top region of the IHCs are significantly larger than synaptic vesicles.

Abstract

<p>(A) Analysis of the organelle numbers from the 3D reconstructions presented in <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0088353#pone-0088353-g005" target="_blank">Fig. 5</a>. Organelles containing the photo-oxidation product were classified in three categories: tubules (large elongated or flattened organelles), cisterns (round or elliptic organelles) and small vesicles. Tubules dominate at rest. Cisterns are induced to form during stimulation. Almost all organelles were processed to small vesicles during recovery. Images show representative organelles for each of the categories. Scale bar, 200 nm. (B) Quantification of the size of small vesicles (<120 nm) at the top and the base of the cell, after a 5-minute recovery. The latter are significantly smaller, and very similar to <i>bona fide</i> synaptic vesicles from the efferent boutons. The bars show means ± SEM, from 260, 690 and 219 vesicles (top, base and efferent, respectively). A one-way ANOVA test indicated that the vesicle populations were significantly different. A <i>post hoc</i> Bonferroni test revealed that the vesicles at the top of the IHCs were significantly larger than those in the basal region, and than those from the efferent boutons (<i>P</i><0.0001). The latter were not significantly different from each other (<i>P</i>>0.05). The analysis included all small vesicles found in the relevant IHC regions in the 3D reconstructions presented in <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0088353#pone-0088353-g005" target="_blank">Fig. 5</a>. The data points were sufficiently numerous to allow us to verify that the distributions were bell-shaped (using histograms of vesicle size). The variance was similar between the data groups: approximately 72, 190 and 143 units for top, base and efferent, respectively. The graphs show the entire data set we obtained in the 3D reconstructions; each 3D reconstruction is derived from one representative experiment.</p

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