The effect of temperature on basal tension and thyroarytenoid muscle contraction in an isolated rat glottis model

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The pitch of voice is closely related to the vocal fold tension, which is the end result of coordinated movement of the intralaryngeal muscles, and especially the thyroarytenoid muscle. It is known that vocal quality may be affected by surrounding temperature; however, the effect of temperature on vocal fold tension is mostly unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of temperature on isolated rat glottis and thyroarytenoid muscle contraction induced by electrical field stimulation. In vitro isometric tension of the glottis ring from 30 Sprague-Dawley rats was continuously recorded by the tissue bath method. Electrical field stimulation was applied to the glottis ring with two wire electrodes placed parallel to the glottis and connected to a direct-current stimulator. The tension changes of the rat glottis rings that were either untreated or treated with electrical field stimulation were recorded continuously at temperatures from 37 to 7 °C or from 7 to 37 °C. Warming from 7 to 37 °C increased the basal tension of the glottis rings and decreased the electrical field stimulation-induced glottis ring contraction, which was chiefly due to thyroarytenoid muscle contraction. In comparison, cooling from 37 to 7 °C decreased the basal tension and enhanced glottis ring contraction by electrical field stimulation. We concluded that warming increased the basal tension of the glottis in vitro and decreased the amplitude of electrical field stimulation-induced thyroarytenoid muscle contraction. Thus, vocal pitch and the fine tuning of vocal fold tension might be affected by temperature in vivo.


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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