In vitro optimisation of conditions for laryngeal reinnervation surgery

The University of Melbourne

  • Project code: PRJ-002363

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Sunday, June 1, 2008

  • Project completion date: Monday, December 19, 2011

  • National Priority: HOR-Thoroughbred diseases and parasites


Our long-range goal is to reduce the time required for functional reinnervation of the cricoarytenoideus dorsalis muscle (CAD) in horses with RLN, so that horses may resume full training within 6 months and without risk of coughing, aspiration, and respiratory infection. If this is achieved, then reinnervation has the potential to become the preferred surgical treatment for RLN in many horses, as it certainly offers advantages over prosthetic laryngoplasty in that there are far fewer complications. Recent studies in a porcine model of laryngeal abductor muscle reinnervation indicate that treatment with a specific neurotrophin can reduce the reinnervation time from 4 months to 2 months. The proposed study is based on the hypothesis that administration of an appropriate combination of nerve and muscle growth factors at the time of surgery can accelerate the establishment of neuromuscular junctions and regeneration of CAD.


Thoroughbred Horses

Research Organisation

The University of Melbourne

Objective Summary

The specific objectives of this project are:
1) To establish a nerve-muscle culture system suitable for testing optimal conditions for successful reinnervation and return to function of the CAD in horses.
2) Using the new culture system, to identify appropriate neurotrophins and/or muscle growth factors that can be administered during laryngeal reinnervation surgery to accelerate the response to this procedure.