Image courtsey- Pixbay

Author: Jatin Kumar

Scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed a system to produce a 3D model of human vocal fold tissue (called mucosa) in lab condition. Vocal tissues when exposed to cigarette smoke, replicates the response seen in the human larynx, namely, inflammation. This model could enable the study of drugs and treatments for vocal fold diseases or damage.

 The vocal folds are also called as vocal cords which is the fold of tissues and rationale for our voice through vocalization, and also are concerned in separating acoustic communication from the passage of food and drink to the gastrointestinal tract, and forestall the entry of drugs into the tract. Vocal folds area unit is prone to chronic inflammation, because of various  environmental pollutants as well as smoke, allergens or infections. But, it’s tough to check vocal diseases and repair ways as a result of retrieving cell samples from healthy vocal cords may cause irreversible injury.

Scientists reported the development of engineered Vocal Fold (VF) mucosa from Human-induced Pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC), transfected via TALEN constructs for a green fluorescent protein. In the study they exposed the engineered Vocal Fold mucosa to 5% cigarette smoke extract for 1 week that induced mucosal inflammation and abnormal remodelling of cell types, affecting the epithelial barrier structure. Susan Thibeault and colleagues performed their previous work in mice by showing that vocal fold epithelia can be derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs).

Collectively their results demonstrate that human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) derived Vocal Fold mucosa supports a spectrum of physiological functions and possesses relevant phenotypic plasticity, to probe important features of voice pathologies. This versatile model system can be used to elucidate molecular mechanisms underlying epithelium–fibroblasts interactions in both health and disease, and could be utilized to study aberrant Vocal Fold remodelling, including identification of targets for possible genetic and/or pharmacological manipulations.

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References:

Human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived vocal fold mucosa mimics development and responses to smoke exposure; https://doi.org /10.1038/s41467-019-12069-w