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Postnatal development of the mouse larynx (Riede et al., 2020)

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posted on 28.08.2020 by Tobias Riede, Megan Coyne, Blake Tafoya, Karen L. Baab
Purpose: The larynx plays a role in swallowing, respiration, and voice production. All three functions change during ontogeny. We investigated ontogenetic shape changes using a mouse model to inform our understanding of how laryngeal form and function are integrated. We understand the characterization of developmental changes to larynx anatomy as a critical step toward using rodent models to study human vocal communication disorders.
Method: Contrast-enhanced micro computed tomography image stacks were used to generate three-dimensional reconstructions of the CD-1 mouse (Mus musculus) laryngeal cartilaginous framework. Then, we quantified size and shape in four age groups: pups, weanlings, young, and old adults using a combination of landmark and linear morphometrics. We analyzed postnatal patterns of growth and shape in the laryngeal skeleton, as well as morphological integration among four laryngeal cartilages using geometric morphometric methods. Acoustic analysis of vocal patterns was employed to investigate morphological and functional integration.
Results: Four cartilages scaled with negative allometry on body mass. Additionally, thyroid, arytenoid, and epiglottic cartilages, but not the cricoid cartilage, showed shape change associated with developmental age. A test for modularity between the four cartilages suggests greater independence of thyroid cartilage shape, hinting at the importance of embryological origin during postnatal development. Finally, mean fundamental frequency, but not fundamental frequency range, varied predictably with size.
Conclusion: In a mouse model, the four main laryngeal cartilages do not develop uniformly throughout the first 12 months of life. High-dimensional shape analysis effectively quantified variation in shape across development and in relation to size, as well as clarifying patterns of covariation in shape among cartilages and possibly the ventral pouch.

Supplemental Material S1. Methods.

Riede, T., Coyne, M., Tafoya, B., & Baab, K. L. (2020). Postnatal development of the mouse larynx: Negative allometry age-dependent shape changes, morphological integration and a size-dependent spectral feature. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_JSLHR-20-00070

Funding

This study was funded by the National Science Foundation (IOS 1754332 awarded to T. R.).

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