Intercellular Junctions in the Differentiating Rat Otocyst

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Abstract

Intercellular junctions between cells of the rat otocyst on the 12th day of gestation were studied using lanthanum tracer and freeze-fracture techniques. At the luminal surface, the intercellular space is closed by a series of tight junctions. Gap junctions are also present between cells both within and below the luminal junctional complex. The presence of tight and gap junctions at this early stage in the differentiating otocyst is probably essential for the development of a normally functioning adult ear.

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