Figure 326 from Chapter 13 (Cilia and Flagella) of 'The Cell' by Don W. Fawcett M.D. Cells of sense organs detecting vibration are provided with stiff surface projections, the size of cilia but lacking their internal structure. The accompanying low-power scanning micrograph presents a surface view of the organ of Corti in the third turn of the guinea-pig cochlea. Three rows of outer hair cells are shown, each bearing a V-shaped array of sensory hairs. The inset shows at high magnification the hairs on two cells from the first row in the second turn of the organ of Corti. Their relative size can be judged by comparison with the microvilli on neighboring cells. These specializations do not arise from centrioles and never contain microtubules. Therefore, they cannot be regarded as modified cilia, but appear to be a unique specialization for mechanoelectrical transduction. A copy of the chapter is available on the ASCB's BioEDUCATE website.
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