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Human laryngeal ganglia contain both sympathetic and parasympathetic cell types



The presence of ganglia associated with the laryngeal nerves is well documented. In man, these ganglia have been less well studied than in other species and, in particular, the cell types within these ganglia are less well characterized. Using a panel of antibodies to a variety of markers found in the paraganglion cells of other species, we were able to show the existence of at least two populations of cells within human laryngeal paraganglia. One population contained chromogranin and tyrosine hydroxylase representing a neurosecretory population possibly secreting dopamine. A second population of choline acetyltransferase positive cells would appear to have a putative parasympathetic function. Further work is needed to characterize these cell populations more fully before it will be possible to assign functions to these cell types but our results are consistent with the postulated functions of these ganglia as chemoreceptors, neurosecretory cells, and regulators of laryngeal mucus secretion. Clin. Anat. 23:673–682, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.