Objectives/Hypothesis Vocal fold scarring is one of the most challenging laryngeal disorders to treat. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is the main component of lamina propria, and it plays an important role in proper vocal fold vibration and is also thought to be important in fetal wound healing without scarring. Although several animal models of vocal fold scarring have been reported, little is known about the way in which HA is maintained in vocal folds. The purpose of this study was to clarify the homeostasis of HA by examining the expression of hyaluronan synthase (Has) and hyaluronidase (Hyal), which produce and digest HA, respectively. Study Design Experimental prospective animal study. Methods Vocal fold stripping was performed on 38 Sprague-Dawley rats. Vocal fold tissue was collected at five time points (3 days-2 months). Expression of HA was examined by immunohistochemistry, and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of Has and Hyal was examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction and in-situ hybridization. Results In scarred vocal folds, expression of Has1 and Has2 increased at day 3 together with expression of HA and returned to normal at 2 weeks. At 2 months, Has3 and Hyal3 mRNA showed higher expressions than normal. Conclusions Expression patterns of Has and Hyal genes differed between normal, acute-scarred, and chronic-scarred vocal folds, indicating the distinct roles of each enzyme in maintaining HA. Continuous upregulation of Has genes in the acute phase may be necessary to achieve scarless healing of vocal folds.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- LPN and LVN
- Speech and Hearing