Medical Molecular Morphology

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 65–81 | Cite as

Spatiotemporal coordination of cellular differentiation and tissue morphogenesis in organ of Corti development

  • Akiko Iizuka-Kogo


The organ of Corti, an acoustic sensory organ, is a specifically differentiated epithelium of the cochlear duct, which is a part of the membranous labyrinth in the inner ear. Cells in the organ of Corti are generally classified into two kinds; hair cells, which transduce the mechanical stimuli of sound to the cell membrane electrical potential differences, and supporting cells. These cells emerge from homogeneous prosensory epithelium through cell fate determination and differentiation. In the organ of Corti organogenesis, cell differentiation and the rearrangement of their position proceed in parallel, resulting in a characteristic alignment of mature hair cells and supporting cells. Recently, studies have focused on the signaling molecules and transcription factors that regulate cell fate determination and differentiation processes. In comparison, less is known about the mechanism of the formation of the tissue architecture; however, this is important in the morphogenesis of the organ of Corti. Thus, this review will introduce previous findings that focus on how cell fate determination, cell differentiation, and whole tissue morphogenesis proceed in a spatiotemporally and finely coordinated manner. This overview provides an insight into the regulatory mechanisms of the coordination in the developing organ of Corti.


Organ of Corti Hair cells Development Cell fate determination Cellular differentiation Convergent extension Morphogenesis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society for Clinical Molecular Morphology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and Cell BiologyGunma University Graduate School of MedicineMaebashi CityJapan

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