Transcriptome Analysis of Left Versus Right Intrinsic Laryngeal Muscles Associated with Innervation

Angela M. Kemfack, Ignacio Hernandez-Morato, Yalda Moayedi, Michael J. Pitman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives/Hypothesis: Recurrent laryngeal nerve injury diagnosed as idiopathic or due to short-term surgery-related intubation exhibits a higher incidence of left-sided paralysis. While this is often attributed to nerve length, it is hypothesized there are asymmetric differences in the expression of genes related to neuromuscular function that may impact reinnervation and contribute to this laterality phenomenon. To test this hypothesis, this study analyzes the transcriptome profiles of the intrinsic laryngeal muscles (ILMs), comparing gene expression in the left versus right, with particular attention to genetic pathways associated with neuromuscular function. Study Design: Laboratory experiment. Methods: RNA was extracted from the left and right sides of the rat posterior cricoarytenoid (PCA), lateral thyroarytenoid (LTA), and medial thyroarytenoid (MTA), respectively. After high-throughput RNA-Sequencing, 88 samples were organized into 12 datasets according to their age (P15/adult), sex (male/female), and muscle type (PCA/LTA/MTA). A comprehensive bioinformatics analysis was conducted to compare the left-right ILMs across different conditions. Results: A total of 774 differentially expressed genes were identified across the 12 experimental groups, revealing age, sex, and muscle-specific differences between the left versus right ILMs. Enrichment analysis of Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways implicated several genes with a left-right laryngeal muscle asymmetry. These genes are associated with neuronal and muscular physiology, immune/inflammatory response, and hormone control. Conclusion: Bioinformatics analysis confirmed divergent transcriptome profiles between the left-right ILMs. This preliminary study identifies putative gene targets that will characterize ILM laterality. Level of Evidence: N/A Laryngoscope, 2024.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • innervation
  • laryngeal muscles
  • laterality
  • neuroinflammation
  • recurrent laryngeal nerve injury
  • vocal fold paralysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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