Rapid degeneration of ampullary electroreceptor organs after denervation

R. Bruce Szamier, Michael V.L. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Electroreceptors (ampullary organs) of the transparent catfish (Kryptopterus bidrrhus) lie in the epidermis, and contain spherical receptor cells that receive purely afferent innervation from the lateral line nerve. Section of this nerve causes rapid degenerative changes to occur in the receptors. Fine structural alterations occur in the receptor cell synapses and nerve fiber 6-12 h postoperatively. Disruption of the receptor cells begins by 18 h and most are lost by 48 h. By 72 h supporting cells and secretory cells also show marked degeneration, and by 96 h they may be totally lost. The rapid degeneration of the electroreceptor organs of Kryptopterus should make them a useful preparation for analysis of neurotrophic functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-477
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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