Normal CBA mice were timed for the developmental stage by the vaginal plug technique. The day of copulatory plug observance was designated as gestation day one. The developmental characteristics of the utricular macula sensory epithelium is described on an ultrastructural level from the 15th to the 19th day of gestation (approximate day of birth). The following pertinent observations are reported: (1) the formation of stereocilia begins prior to the 15th day and continues to approximately the 18th day, (2) the formation of the stereocilia suggests a mechanism of gradual transformation of existing cell surface microvilli, (3) the onset of the genesis of stereocilia precedes neuronal contact and cuticular plate formation, (4) stereocilia rootlets are forming before cuticular plate formation, (5) utricular sensory hair cells have undergone significant ultrastructural differentiation prior to the development of synaptic contacts, and (6) nerve chalice formation of type 1 sensory cells begins on the 18th day and is still incomplete at birth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas