Abstract. The effect has been investigated of local administration of beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) on cell numbers of nasal epithelial metachromatic cell (NMC) sub-populations. Twenty-one patients with perennial allergic rhinitis were studied in four groups according to the duration of treatment or after treatment with BDP. Nasal scrapings were taken after 1 week (Group 1) or 2 weeks (Group 2) of BDP treatment, or after discontinuing BDP for 1 week (Group 3) or 2 weeks (Group 4). Cells were fixed with Mota's lead acetate or 10% buffered formalin followed by toluidine blue staining to count the number of NMC and to classify these according to morphological subtypes (basophils or mast cells). Formalin-sensitive mast cells and basophils in nasal scrapings were reduced more than formalin-resistant mast cells with BDP treatment. Formalin-sensitive mast cells were also more prompt to recover from BDP than formalin-resistant mast cells. The results suggest that the formalin-sensitive NMC is a sub-population of cells which responds to BDP treatment in allergic rhinitis.