The larynx sits at the crossroads between gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Besides its intrinsic importance in breathing, swallowing and voice production, the larynx is also exposed to unique immunological challenges. Given the propensity of chronic inflammatory conditions such as chronic laryngitis, which affects up to 20% of Western populations, it is surprising that our understanding of the immunology of this organ remains relatively limited. Recent work on the immunological architecture of the laryngeal mucosa, and its changes that result from external challenges and inflammatory conditions, provided valuable insight into the fascinating immunology of this organ. The lessons learnt from these investigations may go beyond devising improved therapy for chronic laryngeal inflammation. Establishing whether and how the laryngeal mucosa may be involved in the modulation of wider mucosal responses may provide novel routes to the treatment of inflammatory diseases of the respiratory and alimentary tracts such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy