Background Intermittent allergic rhinitis (IAR) results from interactions between a large number of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators. Little is known about anti-inflammatory mediators in IAR. DNA microarrays allow simultaneous analysis of the whole transcriptome in a sample.
Objective To identify anti-inflammatory transcripts in nasal fluid cells from patients with IAR during season and from healthy controls.
Methods Nasal lavage fluids were obtained from 15 patients with symptomatic birch/and or grass pollen-induced IAR and 28 healthy controls. RNA was extracted from the nasal fluid cells and pooled into one patient- and one control pool. These were analysed with DNA microarrays containing more than 44 927 genes and variants.
Results Seventeen thousand three hundred and fifty three genes were expressed in the controls and 17 928 in the patients. One thousand five hundred and seventy nine of the genes had higher expression in patients than in controls, and 1570 had lower expression in patients. Out of 189 up-regulated inflammatory genes, 187 were pro-inflammatory and two were anti-inflammatory. These genes regulated key steps of inflammation, ranging from influx of leukocytes to immunoglobulin production. By comparison, out of 49 down-regulated inflammatory genes, 36 were pro-inflammatory and 13 were anti-inflammatory. The anti-inflammatory gene that decreased most in expression in the patients was uteroglobin (also known as Clara Cell protein 16, CC16). The nasal fluid concentrations of uteroglobin protein were significantly lower in patients than in controls, 5.43±1.53 and 12.93±2.53 ng/mL, respectively (P<0.05).
Conclusion IAR is associated with decreased expression of uteroglobin and other anti-inflammatory genes.