Angiogenesis plays critical roles in various pathological mechanisms. It has been hypothesized that the vascularity in allergic nasal mucosa is different from that in normal mucosa, and that changes in the vascular network contributes the pathogenesis of allergic rhinitis.
To determine whether hypervascularity and overexpression of the platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor (PD-ECGF), an angiogenic factor, are found in allergic nasal mucosa and whether these two factors are associated with the allergic reaction.
We investigated the expression of PD-ECGF and counted microvessels in 51 nasal mucosae (30 samples from patients with allergic rhinitis and 21 samples as control from normal subjects) using an immunohistochemical technique.
PD-ECGF expression in allergic nasal mucosae was significantly higher than that in control mucosae at the interstitium of the lamina propria (P = 0.0024) and nasal gland (P = 0.024). PD-ECGF positive areas were coincident with areas of high vascularity in the sections. The microvessel count in the lamina propria of allergic mucosae was higher than that of control mucosae (P = 0.050). Regarding the correlation with various clinical factors, the total nasal symptom score was significantly associated with both the PD-ECGF expression in the interstitium of the lamina propria (P < 0.05) and in the nasal gland (P < 0.005), as well as with the number of vessels (P < 0.05).
PD-ECGF and hypervascularity in the nasal mucosa may be involved in the pathogenesis of allergic rhinitis.