• Nasal polyp;
  • eotaxin;
  • eosinophil.


Objectives/Hypothesis Nasal polyps develop in the ethmoidal and middle turbinate area, often in relation to inflammatory conditions. Their exact etiology and pathogenesis are still under debate. Histologically, the polyps are infiltrated by a number of inflammatory cells, with eosinophil predominating in most specimens. This finding suggests that the nasal polyp is an inflammatory growth that is controlled by the local environment. The chemokines eotaxin and RANTES (r egulated on a ctivation n ormal T cell e xpressed and s ecreted) have been postulated to be involved in the recruitment and activation of eosinophils to certain inflamed tissues. The purpose of this study was to investigate eotaxin and RANTES mRNA expression in nasal polyps and its effect on tissue and nasal eosinophils.

Methods Nasal polyps (917 allergic and 30 nonallergic cases) were obtained from endoscopic sinus surgery, and 15 normal inferior turbinates also were taken. Immunohistochemical staining for eosinophils and quantitative reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for eotaxin and RANTES mRNA expression were performed, and the concentration of nasal eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) was measured.

Results The amounts of eotaxin mRNA in the allergic nasal polyps were 11.4 times higher and the levels in the nonallergic polyps were 6.4 times higher than in the normal inferior turbinate. However, the RANTES mRNA expression did not show any differences among the three groups. Tissue eosinophilia and nasal ECP levels were significantly correlated with eotaxin mRNA level but not with RANTES mRNA expression.

Conclusion Nasal polyp eosinophilic infiltration and activation correlate mainly with increased eotaxin gene expression rather than with RANTES expression.