Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 23823223
Biophys. J. 2013 Jul;105(1):48-58
Planar polarization of the forming hair bundle, the mechanosensory antenna of auditory hair cells, depends on the poorly characterized center-to-edge displacement of a primary cilium, the kinocilium, at their apical surface. Taking advantage of the gradient of hair cell differentiation along the cochlea, we reconstituted a map of the kinocilia displacements in the mouse embryonic cochlea. We then developed a cochlear organotypic culture and video-microscopy approach to monitor the movements of the kinocilium basal body (mother centriole) and its daughter centriole, which we analyzed using particle tracking and modeling. We found that both hair cell centrioles undergo confined Brownian movements around their equilibrium positions, under the apparent constraint of a radial restoring force of ∼0.1 pN. This magnitude depended little on centriole position, suggesting nonlinear interactions with constraining, presumably cytoskeletal elements. The only dynamic change observed during the period of kinocilium migration was a doubling of the centrioles’ confinement area taking place early in the process. It emerges from these static and dynamic observations that kinocilia migrate gradually in parallel with the organization of hair cells into rows during cochlear neuroepithelium extension. Analysis of the confined motion of hair cell centrioles under normal and pathological conditions should help determine which structures contribute to the restoring force exerting on them.