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  • In vitro mechanical vibration down-regulates pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic signaling in human vocal fold fibroblasts.

In vitro mechanical vibration down-regulates pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic signaling in human vocal fold fibroblasts.

PloS one (2020-11-20)
David Hortobagyi, Tanja Grossmann, Magdalena Tschernitz, Magdalena Grill, Andrijana Kirsch, Claus Gerstenberger, Markus Gugatschka
ABSTRACT

Voice rest following phonotrauma or phonosurgery has a considerable clinical impact, but clinical recommendations are inconsistent due to inconclusive data. As biopsies of the vocal folds (VF) for molecular biology studies in humans are unethical, we established a new in vitro model to explore the effects of vibration on human vocal fold fibroblasts (hVFF) in an inflammatory and normal state, which is based on previously published models. By using a phonomimetic bioreactor we were able to apply predefined vibrational stress patterns on hVFF cultured under inflammatory or normal conditions. Inflammatory and pro-fibrotic stimuli were induced by interleukin (IL)1β and transforming growth factor (TGF)β1, respectively. Mechanical stimulation was applied four hours daily, over a period of 72 hours. Outcome measurements comprised assessment of extracellular matrix (ECM)-related components, angiogenic factors, and inflammatory and fibrogenic markers on gene expression and protein levels. Under inflammatory conditions, the inflammatory cytokine IL11, as well as the myofibroblast marker alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) were significantly reduced when additional vibration was applied. The desirable anti-fibrotic ECM component hyaluronic acid was increased following cytokine treatment, but was not diminished following vibration. Our experiments revealed the effect of vibrational stress on hVFF in an inflammatory state. Elevated levels of certain pro-inflammatory/pro-fibrotic factors could be mitigated by additional vibrational excitation in an in vitro setting. These findings corroborate clinical studies which recommend early voice activation following an acute event.

MATERIALS
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Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
L-(−)-Glucose, ≥99%
Sigma-Aldrich
Anti-Actin, α-Smooth Muscle antibody, Mouse monoclonal, clone 1A4, purified from hybridoma cell culture