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Author Notes:

Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to D.R. (email: dongdongren@fudan.edu.cn) or P.C. (email: ping.chen@emory.edu)

W.W.L., J.T., H.Y., K.K. performed experiments.

W.W.L. and P.C. planned the project and the experiments, discussed the results, and completed the manuscript.

P.C. directed and supervised the entire project.

J.D.L., F.L.C., N.W.T., X.L., and D.D.R. participated in discussion of the project and the manuscript.

F.L.C., X.L., and D.D.R. also provided financial support for the project.

The authors declare no competing financial interests.



  • Otitis media
  • chronic OM with effusion
  • Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia

Cilia distribution and polarity in the epithelial lining of the mouse middle ear cavity.


Journal Title:

Scientific Reports


Volume 7


, Pages 45870-45870

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


The middle ear conducts sound to the cochlea for hearing. Otitis media (OM) is the most common illness in childhood. Moreover, chronic OM with effusion (COME) is the leading cause of conductive hearing loss. Clinically, COME is highly associated with Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia, implicating significant contributions of cilia dysfunction to COME. The understanding of middle ear cilia properties that are critical to OM susceptibility, however, is limited. Here, we confirmed the presence of a ciliated region near the Eustachian tube orifice at the ventral region of the middle ear cavity, consisting mostly of a lumen layer of multi-ciliated and a layer of Keratin-5-positive basal cells. We also found that the motile cilia are polarized coordinately and display a planar cell polarity. Surprisingly, we also found a region of multi-ciliated cells that line the posterior dorsal pole of the middle ear cavity which was previously thought to contain only non-ciliated cells. Our study provided a more complete understanding of cilia distribution and revealed for the first time coordinated polarity of cilia in the epithelium of the mammalian middle ear, thus illustrating novel structural features that are likely critical for middle ear functions and related to OM susceptibility.

Copyright information:

© 2017, The Author(s)

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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