From the apical end of the inner hair cell of the organ of Corti in the guinea pig cochlea protrude four to five rows of stereocilia shaped in a pattern not unlike the wings of a bird. In the area devoid of cuticular substance facing toward the tunnel of Corti lies a consistently present centriole. The ultrastructure of this centriole is similar to that of the basal body of the kinocilium located in the periphery of the sensory hair bundles in the vestibular and lateral line organ sensory cells and to that of the centrioles of other cells. The physiological implications of the anatomical orientation of this centriole are discussed in terms of directional sensitivity.

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