Congenital bilateral vocal cord paralysis and the role of glycine

Robert G. Berkowitz*, Qi Jian Sun, Paul M. Pilowsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We sought to modify normal laryngeal constrictor (LC) motoneuron activity to induce a pattern of aberrant LC muscle function that may serve as a model of congenital bilateral vocal cord paralysis. Methods: Single unit extracellular recordings of functionally identified LC motoneurons were made in anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats, and the response to both intravenous and iontophoretic application of the glycine antagonist strychnine was studied. Results: The postinspiratory firing pattern of LC motoneurons became inspiratory after intravenous injection of strychnine (4 of 5 rats), but no change was recorded in response to strychnine iontophoresis (7 of 8 rats). Conclusions: Blockade of glycinergic inhibitory neurotransmission by strychnine, acting above the level of the LC motoneuron, causes LC motoneurons to fire during inspiration rather than after inspiration. This observation suggests that impaired glycine neurotransmission may be an underlying mechanism that explains the clinical manifestations of congenital bilateral vocal cord paralysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-498
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Congenital bilateral vocal cord paralysis and the role of glycine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this