Peri-arterial Autonomic Innervation of the Human Ear.
ABSTRACT: Auricular vasomotor responses are considered to be signs of clinical conditions including migraine. The mechanisms of auricular vasomotor control are still debatable. This study aimed at investigating perivascular co-transmitters of vasomotor control in the auricle. Another aim was to provide three-dimensional arterial maps of the auricle, as a proxy of periarterial autonomic innervation. Twelve paired human auricles were used to visualize the arteries following Spalteholz clearing and ?-CT-based reconstruction. Perivascular innervation staining was conducted using anti-tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), anti-neuropeptide Y (NPY), anti-vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and anti-choline acetyl transferase (ChAT). The combined Spalteholz technique and ?-CT revealed a highly consistent arrangement of the auricular vasculature. The superficial temporal (STA) and posterior auricular artery (PAA) supply the helical rim arcade and arcade, with the STA mainly forming the superior and the PAA forming the middle and inferior auricular artery. Co-existence of sympathetic NPY+ and TH+ terminals mediating vasoconstriction, and VIP+ and ACh+ indicating cholinergic vasodilatation, was found in the perivascular zone. The presence of both sympathetic vasoconstriction and cholinergic co-innervation for active vasodilatation was shown in the perivascular auricular zone. Assuming that the highly-consistent vasculature gives way to these terminals, this periarterial innervation may be found spread out across the helix.
Project description:Currently, autologous cartilage provides the gold standard for auricular reconstruction. However, synthetic biomaterials offer a number of advantages for ear reconstruction including decreased donor site morbidity and earlier surgery. Critical to implant success is the material's mechanical properties as this affects biocompatibility and extrusion. The aim of this study was to determine the biomechanical properties of human auricular cartilage. Auricular cartilage from fifteen cadavers was indented with displacement of 1 mm/s and load of 300 g to obtain a Young's modulus in compression. Histological analysis of the auricle was conducted according to glycoprotein, collagen, and elastin content. The compression modulus was calculated for each part of the auricle with the tragus at 1.67 ± 0.61 MPa, antitragus 1.79 ± 0.56 MPa, concha 2.08 ± 0.70 MPa, antihelix 1.71 ± 0.63 MPa, and helix 1.41 ± 0.67 MPa. The concha showed to have a significantly greater Young's Elastic Modulus than the helix in compression (p < 0.05). The histological analysis demonstrated that the auricle has a homogenous structure in terms of chondrocyte morphology, extracellular matrix and elastin content. This study provides new information on the compressive mechanical properties and histological analysis of the human auricular cartilage, allowing surgeons to have a better understanding of suitable replacements. This study has provided a reference, by which cartilage replacements should be developed for auricular reconstruction.
Project description:To investigate the effects of histamine receptor antagonists on vasoconstriction induced by electrical stimulation (ES) on posterior auricular nerve, and to explore the pre- and post-synaptic effects of sympathetic histamine on the vasomotor responses of vascular smooth muscle in rabbit ear.ES was applied to posterior auricular nerves of the whole rabbit ear at 10 Hz, 20 Hz and 40 Hz, respectively. Besides, the whole ear was perfused with different histamine receptor antagonists under constant perfusion pressure, and the changes in the flow rate of perfusate were observed.The flow rate of venous outflow was decreased by ES at all the 3 frequencies. The ES-induced vasoconstriction at 20 Hz and 40 Hz could be partly inhibited by H(1) receptor antagonist chlorpheniramine (P < 0.05). After exhaustion of histamine in mast cells by pretreatment with specific mast cell degranulator compound 48/80, chlorpheniramine could still inhibit the ES-induced flow rate reduction. In contrast, H(2) receptor antagonist cimetidine could enhance the 40-Hz ES-induced flow rate reduction (P < 0.05). Moreover, ES-induced vasoconstriction at the 3 frequencies could all be enhanced by H(3) receptor antagonist thioperamide (P < 0.05).Stimulation on the auricular nerve may evoke histamine release from sympathetic nerves rather than from mast cells. Moreover, the functions of sympathetic histamine vary from pre-synaptic modulation to post-synaptic vasoconstriction or vasodilatation, via activation of different histamine receptors.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Based on evidence from several other tissues, cartilage stem/progenitor cells in the auricular cartilage presumably contribute to tissue development or homeostasis of the auricle. However, no definitive studies have identified or characterized a stem/progenitor population in mice auricle.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>The 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) label-retaining technique was used to label dividing cells in fetal mice. Observations one year following the labeling revealed that label-retaining cells (LRCs) were present specifically in auricular perichondrium at a rate of 0.08±0.06%, but LRCs were not present in chondrium. Furthermore, LRCs were successfully isolated and cultivated from auricular cartilage. Immunocytochemical analyses showed that LRCs express CD44 and integrin-?(5). These LRCs, putative stem/progenitor cells, possess clonogenicity and chondrogenic capability in vitro.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>We have identified a population of putative cartilage stem/progenitor cells in the auricular perichondrium of mice. Further characterization and utilization of the cell population should improve our understanding of basic cartilage biology and lead to advances in cartilage tissue engineering and novel therapeutic strategies for patients with craniofacial defects, including long-term tissue restoration.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Spinal cord injury (SCI) can lead to severe and permanent functional deficits. In humans, peri-auricular muscles (PAMs) do not serve any physiological function, though their innervation is preserved in even high level SCI. Auricular control systems provide a good example of leveraging contemporary technologies (e.g., sEMG controlled computer games) to enable those with disabilities. Our primary objective is to develop and test the effectiveness of an auricular muscle training protocol to facilitate isolated and coordinated, bilateral voluntary control that could be used in individuals without volitional control of the vestigial PAMs. METHODS:Seventeen non-disabled persons were screened; 13 were eligible and 10 completed the entire protocol. The facilitation phase, included one session of sub-motor threshold, sensory electrical stimulation followed by neuromuscular electrical stimulation paired with ear movement feedback for up to 8 additional sessions. Participants progressed to the skill acquisition phase where they dawned an auricular control device that used sEMG signals to control movements of a cursor through three levels of computer games, each requiring increasingly more complex PAM coordination. RESULTS:The 10 who completed the protocol, finished the facilitation phase in 3 to 9 sessions and achieved some level of voluntary auricle movement that ranged between 1 and 5?mm. Qualitative analysis of longitudinal post-session auricular movement, revealed two subgroups of learners. Six successfully completed all 3 games-the "Learners". Two were partially successful in game completion and two were unable to complete a single game--"Poor/Non-Learners". Quantitative analysis revealed a significant group difference in auricular amplitude for both facilitation and skill phases (p?<?.05), and a significant relationship between performance in the two phases (R2?=?0.84, p?=?0.004). CONCLUSION:Sixty percent of those who completed the facilitation phase were able to learn and demonstrate functional voluntary control of the vestigial PAMs. Those who progressed the fastest through facilitation were also those who were most proficient in skill acquisition with the device. There was considerable variability in progression through the two-phase protocol, with 20% deemed Poor/Non-Learners and unable to complete even the most basic game following training. There were no serious adverse events. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02358915 , first posted February 9, 2015.
Project description:The authors summarize current methods for reconstructing partial auricular defects resulting from trauma, neoplasm, or congenital defects. They also review the anatomy and embryology of the ear as this is critical for proper reconstruction. Defects of the auricle are divided into upper-third, middle-third, and lower-third defects. Methods of total auricular reconstruction are also briefly discussed as these methods can provide more superior reconstruction than partial techniques in select cases.
Project description:A 13-year-old spayed female dog had a mass in the left auricle. Grossly, connection between the mass and original auricular cartilage was not recognized. The mass was unencapsulated and contained multiple islands of mature hyaline cartilage and neoplastic adipocytes. The neoplastic cells comprised predominant mature adipocytes, scattered lipoblasts and irregular round to spindle cells with moderate atypia. The atypical cells occasionally had lipid droplets. A diagnosis of well-differentiated liposarcoma (WDL) with chondroid metaplasia was made. This is the first report for liposarcoma with chondroid metaplasia in the auricle of domestic animals.
Project description:Fluid flow in perivascular spaces is recognized as a key component underlying brain transport and clearance. An important open question is how and to what extent differences in vessel type or geometry affect perivascular fluid flow and transport. Using computational modelling in both idealized and image-based geometries, we study and compare fluid flow and solute transport in pial (surface) periarterial and perivenous spaces. Our findings demonstrate that differences in geometry between arterial and venous pial perivascular spaces (PVSs) lead to higher net CSF flow, more rapid tracer transport and earlier arrival times of injected tracers in periarterial spaces compared to perivenous spaces. These findings can explain the experimentally observed rapid appearance of tracers around arteries, and the delayed appearance around veins without the need of a circulation through the parenchyma, but rather by direct transport along the PVSs.
Project description:Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor beta/delta (PPARD) is an important determinant of multiple biological processes. Our previous studies identified a missense mutation in the PPARD gene that significantly reduces its transcription activity, and consequently causes enlarged external ears in pigs. However, the mechanisms underlying the causality has remained largely unknown. Here, we show that PPARD retards the development of auricular cartilage by accelerating the apoptosis of cartilage stem/progenitor cells (CSPCs), the terminal differentiation of cartilage cells and the degradation of cartilage extracellular matrix in the auricle. At the transcription level, PPARD upregulates a set of genes that are associated with CSPCs apoptosis and chondrogenic differentiation, chondroblast differentiation and extracellular matrix degradation. ChIP-seq identified direct target genes of PPARD, including a well-documented gene for cartilage development: PPARG. We further show that compared to wild-type PPARD, the G32E mutant up-regulates the expression of PPARG and subsequently leads to the downregulation of critical genes that inhibit cartilage growth. These findings allow us to conclude that PPARD is an inhibitor of auricular cartilage growth in pigs. The causative mutation (G32E) in the PPARD gene attenuates the PPARD-mediated retardation of cartilage growth in the auricle, contributing to enlarged ears in pigs. The findings advance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying auricular development in mammals, and shed insight into the studies of innate pinna disorders and cartilage regeneration medicine in humans.
Project description:Children suffering from microtia have few options for auricular reconstruction. Tissue engineering approaches attempt to replicate the complex anatomy and structure of the ear with autologous cartilage but have been limited by access to clinically accessible cell sources. Here we present a full-scale, patient-based human ear generated by implantation of human auricular chondrocytes and human mesenchymal stem cells in a 1:1 ratio. Additional disc construct surrogates were generated with 1:0, 1:1, and 0:1 combinations of auricular chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem cells. After 3 months in vivo, monocellular auricular chondrocyte discs and 1:1 disc and ear constructs displayed bundled collagen fibers in a perichondrial layer, rich proteoglycan deposition, and elastin fiber network formation similar to native human auricular cartilage, with the protein composition and mechanical stiffness of native tissue. Full ear constructs with a 1:1 cell combination maintained gross ear structure and developed a cartilaginous appearance following implantation. These studies demonstrate the successful engineering of a patient-specific human auricle using exclusively human cell sources without extensive in vitro tissue culture prior to implantation, a critical step towards the clinical application of tissue engineering for auricular reconstruction.
Project description:Bioengineering of the human auricle remains a significant challenge, where the complex and unique shape, the generation of high-quality neocartilage, and shape preservation are key factors. Future regenerative medicine-based approaches for auricular cartilage reconstruction will benefit from a smart combination of various strategies. Our approach to fabrication of an ear-shaped construct uses hybrid bioprinting techniques, a recently identified progenitor cell population, previously validated biomaterials, and a smart scaffold design. Specifically, we generated a 3D-printed polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffold via fused deposition modeling, photocrosslinked a human auricular cartilage progenitor cell-laden gelatin methacryloyl (gelMA) hydrogel within the scaffold, and cultured the bioengineered structure <i>in vitro</i> in chondrogenic media for 30 days. Our results show that the fabrication process maintains the viability and chondrogenic phenotype of the cells, that the compressive properties of the combined PCL and gelMA hybrid auricular constructs are similar to native auricular cartilage, and that biofabricated hybrid auricular structures exhibit excellent shape fidelity compared with the 3D digital model along with deposition of cartilage-like matrix in both peripheral and central areas of the auricular structure. Our strategy affords an anatomically enhanced auricular structure with appropriate mechanical properties, ensures adequate preservation of the auricular shape during a dynamic <i>in vitro</i> culture period, and enables chondrogenically potent progenitor cells to produce abundant cartilage-like matrix throughout the auricular construct. The combination of smart scaffold design with 3D bioprinting and cartilage progenitor cells holds promise for the development of clinically translatable regenerative medicine strategies for auricular reconstruction.