The vestibular system in the inner ear decodes motion and acceleration. The utricle otoconia deflect hair-like protrusions in ascending order, called the morphological polarization vector (MPV). MPVs are essential for spatial coding. The project examined what effect natural stimuli have upon MPV maintenance and development.
Otoconia deficient HET/HET, and otoconia producing HET/+ mice utricles were used. Thus, otoconia was the sole variable. The tissue was prepared with phaloidin fluorescence and was imaged with a confocal microscope. The angle was calculated using the kinocilium center and hair cell center.
In data quantification, three similar utricle areas that were compared yielded a HET/+ to HET/HET average angle of 93.3 degrees to 105.5 degrees, 114 degrees to 137.5 degrees, and 91 degrees to 100 degrees respectively.
The compared MPV angles showed similarity, which suggests that spatial coding is not stimuli dependent. This experiment deductively narrows the factors contributing to MPV maintenance, so that non-stimuli factors can be explored.
This project is to determine whether morphological polarization vectors in utricle hair cells depend on natural stimuli for its development and maintenance.
Science Fair Project done By David E. Lluncor