Subcutaneous neurotrophin 4 infusion using osmotic pumps or direct muscular injection enhances aging rat laryngeal muscles

Richard D. Andreatta, Joseph C. Stemple, Tanya S. Seward, Colleen A. McMullen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Laryngeal dysfunction in the elderly is a major cause of disability, from voice disorders to dysphagia and loss of airway protective reflexes. Few, if any, therapies exist that target age-related laryngeal muscle dysfunction. Neurotrophins are involved in muscle innervation and differentiation of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). It is thought that neurotrophins enhance neuromuscular transmission by increasing neurotransmitter release. The neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) become smaller and less abundant in aging rat laryngeal muscles, with evidence of functional denervation. We explored the effects of NTF4 for future clinical use as a therapeutic to improve function in aging human laryngeal muscles. Here, we provide the detailed protocol for systemic application and direct injection of NTF4 to investigate the ability of aging rat laryngeal muscle to remodel in response to NTF4 application. In this method, rats either received NTF4 either systemically via osmotic pump or by direct injection through the vocal folds. Laryngeal muscles were then dissected and used for histological examination of morphology and age-related denervation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere55837
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number124
StatePublished - Jun 13 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Institute on Deafness and Other communication Disorders (R21DC010806 to C.A.M. and J.C.S and R01DC011285 to C.A.M.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Journal of Visualized Experiments.


  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology
  • Growth factors
  • Issue 124
  • Laryngeal injection
  • Larynx
  • Muscle
  • Neurotrophin 4 (NTF4)
  • Osmotic pump
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology (all)


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