Analysis of marginal and basal cell barriers by in Slc26a4
-/- mice. Tight junctions were visualized by F actin. Whole-mounts of stria vascularis were viewed either from the basal cell side (a-f) or from the marginal cell side (g-l). Bright field images verify that the same area was viewed from either side (b and h). Colored bright field images were mixed with images of F actin staining to indicate the position of pigment granules (d, j, f and l). Focus was varied to either visualize the marginal cell barrier (SMC, c-d and i-j) or the basal cell barrier (BC, e-f and k-l). Both the marginal cell (e-f) and the basal cell barrier (i-f) appeared to be intact. It was critical for this finding that pigmentation did not block the path of the laser. Blockage of the laser by pigmentation produces the untrue impression of a discontinuous marginal cell barrier (c-d) or basal cell barrier (k-l). Comparison of images is aided by marking a significant area with a star. Bars = 10 μm.