Interspecies comparison of stellate cell-containing macula flavae and vitamin A storage in vocal fold mucosa

Authors

  • Yutaka Toya,

    1. Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA
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  • Napaporn Riabroy,

    1. Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
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  • Christopher R. Davis,

    1. Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
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  • Yo Kishimoto,

    1. Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA
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  • Sherry A. Tanumihardjo,

    1. Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
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  • Diane M. Bless,

    1. Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA
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  • Nathan V. Welham

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA
    • Correspondence

      Nathan V. Welham, Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, K4/723 CSC, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792, USA. T: +1608 263 0121; F: +1608 252 0939; E: welham@surgery.wisc.edu

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Abstract

The macula flavae (MF), populated by vitamin A-storing stellate cells (SCs), are believed to play a fundamental role in development, maintenance and repair of the vocal fold (VF) mucosa; however, to date, they have mostly been examined in observational human cadaver studies. Here, we conducted an interspecies comparison of MF and SC phenotype, as well as vitamin A quantification and localization, in human, pig, dog, rabbit and rat VF mucosae. MF containing vitamin A-positive SCs were only identified in human and rat specimens. Pig, dog and rabbit VF mucosae contained no discernable MF, but rather exhibited preferential vitamin A localization to mucous (pig), serous (dog) or mixed (rabbit) glands. This glandular vitamin A storage corresponded to exceedingly high concentrations of retinol in pig and dog mucosae, and retinyl ester in dog mucosa. These findings have significant implications for the presumed role of the MF and SCs in VF biology, the nature of vitamin A storage within the VF mucosa, and the selection of an appropriate animal model for future experimental studies.

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