This study investigated the ability of implanted human nasal inferior turbinate–derived mesenchymal stem cells (hTMSCs) to repair injured vocal folds. To this end, we used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to analyze the early phase of wound healing and histopathological analysis to explore the late phase of wound healing in xenograft animal models.Study Design
Prospective animal study.Setting
Research laboratory.Subjects and Methods
The right-side lamina propria of the vocal fold was injured in 20 rabbits and 30 rats. Next, hTMSCs were implanted into half of the injured vocal folds (hTMSC groups). As a control, phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) was injected into the other half of the injured vocal folds (PBS groups). Rat vocal folds were harvested for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) at 1 week after injury. Rabbit vocal folds were evaluated endoscopically and the larynges harvested for histological and immunohistochemical examination at 2 and 8 weeks after injury.Results
In the hTMSC group, PCR showed that hyaluronan synthase (HAS) 1, HAS 2, and transforming growth factor (TGF)–β1 were significantly upregulated compared with the PBS group. Procollagen type III (COL III) messenger RNA expression was significantly upregulated in the PBS group compared with the normal group. Histological analyses showed that hTMSC administration afforded more favorable collagen and hyaluronic acid deposition than was evident in the controls. Implanted hTMSCs were observed in injured vocal folds 2 weeks after implantation.Conclusions
Our results show that hTMSCs implantation into injured vocal folds facilitated vocal fold regeneration, with presenting antifibrotic effects.