Chronic stimulation-induced changes in the rodent thyroarytenoid muscle

Colleen A. Mcmullen, Timothy A. Butterfield, Maria Dietrich, Richard D. Andreatta, Francisco H. Andrade, Lisa Fry, Joseph C. Stemplea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: Therapies for certain voice disorders purport principles of skeletal muscle rehabilitation to increase muscle mass, strength, and endurance. However, applicability of limb muscle rehabilitation to the laryngeal muscles has not been tested. In this study, the authors examined the feasibility of the rat thyroarytenoid muscle to remodel as a consequence of increased activity instantiated through chronic electrical stimulation. Method: Twenty adult Sprague-Dawley rats (Rattus norvegicus), assigned to a 1-week or 2-week stimulation group, were implanted with a nerve cuff electrode placed around the right recurrent laryngeal nerve and were fitted with a head connector. All animals were placed under anesthesia twice a day for 1 hr each time. Following the training, rats were killed, and thyroarytenoid muscles were isolated for histology and immunohistochemistry. Results: Mean muscle fiber area decreased, neuromuscular junction density increased, mitochondrial content increased qualitatively, and glycogen-positive fibers increased, demonstrating exercise-induced changes similar to those seen in limb muscles after endurance training. Conclusion: Rat thyroarytenoid muscles are capable of remodeling in response to chronic electrical stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-853
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Chronic nerve stimulation
  • Fiber size
  • Glycogen
  • Mitochondria
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Thyroarytenoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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