Effect of beclomethasone dipropionate on nasal metachromatic cell sub-populations


Dr J. Dolovich, Room 3V41, McMaster Health Sciences Centre, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 3Z5, Canada.


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.