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Matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases in nasal lavage after an inhalation challenge with flour


  • This study was supported by the Center for Asthma in the Workplace, a Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), Centre for Research Development. The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.



The existence of nasal mucosa remodeling in allergic rhinitis is controversial. Few data are available on the dynamics of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) in nasal fluid after an allergen challenge. We examined whether an immediate allergic reaction that induces nasal congestion and inflammation is able to also induce changes in remodeling parameters in nasal fluid.

Study Design:

Controlled experimental study.


Ten patients with allergic occupational rhinitis due to flour underwent a control and active inhalation challenge with serial monitoring of nasal congestion and nasal symptoms with acoustic rhinometry and a visual analogue scale. Levels of remodeling markers (MMP-2, MMP-7, MMP-9, MMP-13, TIMP-1, TIMP-2) and inflammatory cells in nasal fluid were measured before the challenge and at 30 minutes, 6 hours, and 24 hours following the challenge.


In contrast to the control challenge, the flour challenge induced nasal symptoms and significant decreases in nasal volume in all subjects. After the flour challenge, a significant increase in nasal levels of TIMP-2 and a nonsignificant increase in TIMP-1 levels were observed, whereas no significant changes in nasal levels of MMPs were documented.


This study showed that after an inhalation challenge with an occupational allergen, the nasal mucosa displayed an imbalance in favor of TIMPs enzymes activity as compared to MMPs enzymes activity, represented in an increase in nasal levels of TIMP-2 during the course of the early reaction following the allergen challenge. Laryngoscope, 2012