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Joseph C. Burns, Maria Sol Collado, Eric R. Oliver and Jeffrey T. Corwin Specializations of intercellular junctions are associated with the presence and absence of hair cell regeneration in ears from six vertebrate classes Journal of Comparative Neurology 521

Article first published online: 20 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/cne.23250

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Images of phalloidin-labeled vestibular organs show that the inner ear supporting cells in anamniotes, turtles, and birds, which regenerate hair cells throughout life, retain thin circumferential F-actin belts at their junctions into adulthood. Divergent junctional specializations appear to have arisen independently in the supporting cells of Anolis lizards and mammals. The wide, but porous webs of F-actin in Anolis appear to permit supporting cell proliferation, whereas the solid reinforcement of the F-actin belts in mammals is associated with its absence.

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