Effect of recurrent laryngeal nerve section on the laryngeal muscles of adult rabbits

Michael J. Shinners, George S. Goding, Linda K. McLoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of recurrent laryngeal nerve section on myonuclear addition and myofiber remodeling in adult rabbit laryngeal muscles. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Unilateral section of the recurrent laryngeal nerve was performed on adult rabbits. Rabbits were labeled with bromodeoxyuridine, euthanized, and the laryngeal muscles were examined for bromodeoxyuridine (brdU) and neonatal myosin heavy chain (MyHC) expression. RESULTS: One week after nerve section, brdU-positive myonuclei were significantly increased on the denervated and contralateral sides. Neonatal MyHC expression significantly increased. By 24 weeks, the upregulation of myonuclear addition returned to control levels. CONCLUSION: Laryngeal muscle denervation results in significant upregulation of myonuclear addition. Denervation also resulted in a significant upregulation of neonatal MyHC expression. SIGNIFICANCE: Laryngeal muscles can be successfully reinnervated after long periods of denervation. This significant and maintained increase in myonuclear addition may contribute to the ability of laryngeal muscles to survive for extended periods following interruption of the recurrent laryngeal nerve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-418
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by EY13979 and EY11375 from the National Institutes of Health (LKM) and American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, Inc. Resident grant (MS), Minnesota Lions Foundation.


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