Barrier Function of the Laryngeal Mucosa The larynx is exposed to nearly continuous insults from the airway, digestive tract, and through the mechanical stresses of vocal fold vibration. The protection from these insults offered by laryngeal mucosa is called barrier function. Two essential mucosal barriers include the epithelial barrier and the mucus barrier. The purpose of ... Article
Article  |   July 01, 2016
Barrier Function of the Laryngeal Mucosa
Author Notes
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Elizabeth Erickson-DiRenzo is an assistant professor of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
    Financial: Elizabeth Erickson-DiRenzo is an assistant professor of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine.×
  • Nonfinancial: Elizabeth Erickson-DiRenzo has previously published in this subject area.
    Nonfinancial: Elizabeth Erickson-DiRenzo has previously published in this subject area.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Part 2
Article   |   July 01, 2016
Barrier Function of the Laryngeal Mucosa
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, July 2016, Vol. 1, 54-62. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG3.54
History: Received January 8, 2016 , Accepted February 24, 2016
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, July 2016, Vol. 1, 54-62. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG3.54
History: Received January 8, 2016; Accepted February 24, 2016

The larynx is exposed to nearly continuous insults from the airway, digestive tract, and through the mechanical stresses of vocal fold vibration. The protection from these insults offered by laryngeal mucosa is called barrier function. Two essential mucosal barriers include the epithelial barrier and the mucus barrier. The purpose of this article is to provide an introduction to our current knowledge of the laryngeal epithelial and mucus barriers. Specifically, the composition of these barriers will be discussed. Research generating novel model systems to study the epithelial and mucus barriers and investigations of how common insults impact barrier structure and function will be highlighted. Compromise of these barriers may substantially increase laryngeal susceptibility to injury and impact overarching laryngeal health. Despite recent gains in our understanding of the epithelial and mucus barriers, continued research is necessary in order to advance the field of laryngeal biology and develop novel therapeutic strategies to improve laryngeal barrier function.

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