Oncomodulin Expression Reveals New Insights into the Cellular Organization of the Murine Utricle Striola.J Assoc Res Otolaryngol 2018; 19(1):33-51JA
Oncomodulin (OCM, aka β-parvalbumin) is an EF-hand calcium binding protein that is expressed in a restricted set of hair cells in the peristriolar region of the mammalian utricle. In the present study, we determined the topologic distribution of OCM among hair cell phenotypes to advance our understanding of the cellular organization of the striola and the relationship of these phenotypes with characteristics of tissue polarity. The distributions of OCM-positive (OCM+) hair cells were quantified in utricles of mature C57Bl/6 mice. Immunohistochemistry was conducted using antibodies to OCM, calretinin, and β3-tubulin. Fluorophore-conjugated phalloidin was used to label hair cell stereocilia, which provided the basis for determining hair cell counts and morphologic polarizations. We found OCM expression in striolar types I and II hair cells, though the distributions were dissimilar to the native striolar type I and II distributions, favoring type I hair cells. The distribution of OCM immunoreactivity among striolar type I hair cells also reflected nonrandom distribution among type Ic and Id phenotypes (i.e., those receiving calretinin-positive and calretinin-negative calyces, respectively). However, many OCM+ hair cells were found lateral to the striola, and within the epithelial region encompassing OCM+ hair cells, the distributions of OCM+ types Ic and Id hair cells were similar to the native distributions of Ic and Id in this region. Summarily, these data provide a quantitative perspective supporting the existence of different underlying factors driving the topologic expression of OCM in hair cells than those responsible for tissue polarity characteristics associated within the utricular striola, including calretinin expression in afferent calyces.