Localization of label-retaining cells in murine vocal fold epithelium

Ciara Leydon, Rebecca S. Bartlett, Drew A. Roenneburg, Susan L. Thibeault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: Epithelial homeostasis is critical for vocal fold health, yet little is known about the cells that support epithelial self-renewal. As a known characteristic of stem cells is that they are slowcycling in vivo, the purpose of this prospective controlled study was to identify and quantify slow-cycling cells or putative stem cells in murine vocal fold epithelium. Method: Twelve mice were administered daily intraperitoneal injections of a nucleotide dye, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), over 7 consecutive days. Under this pulse-chase paradigm, slow-cycling cells retain the dye (label-retaining cells; LRCs) while more rapidly cycling cells lose dye to dilution during multiple cell divisions. The percentage of label-retaining cells (%LRCs) was calculated following a chase period of 2, 4, and 8 weeks postinjections. Results: The %LRCs decreased significantly from 9.4% at 2 weeks to 3.1% at 8 weeks following injections (p <.05). No statistically significant differences in the quantity of BrdU-positive cells were measured between the anterior, mid-membranous, or cartilaginous regions of the vocal fold (p >.05). Conclusion: These findings are consistent with the presence and first report of a small population of putative stem cells along the length of murine vocal fold epithelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1060-1066
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway
  • Brdu
  • Larynx
  • Stem cells
  • Stratified squamous epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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