For each age (P10, P12, and P14), samples from Strc+/−/Tecta−/− and Strc−/−/Tecta−/− littermates were prepared in parallel. Inner ears were fixed overnight at 4°C in 2.5% glutaraldehyde in 0.1 M sodium cacodylate buffer. After five rapid washes in the cacodylate buffer, the organ of Corti was microdissected and processed according to the osmium tetroxide/thiocarbohydrazide method, as previously described (42). After dehydration in graded ethanol solutions and critical point drying with liquid CO2, samples were mounted on aluminum stubs with carbon tab adhesive (Agar Scientific, Essex, UK). Specimens were imaged in a JEOL JSM-6700F scanning electron microscope (JEOL, Tokyo, Japan) operating at 3 to 5 kV.

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