The aim of this study was to observe and compare epithelial gene expression in patients with allergic rhinitis, suspected allergic rhinitis, and nonallergic rhinitis.
Nasal brushings were collected from healthy controls and from patients with allergic rhinitis, suspected allergic rhinitis, and nonallergic rhinitis. The expressions of 20 genes selected from a previous microarray study were measured by real-time PCR. Associations of these genes with allergen type, disease duration and severity, the grade of nasal smear eosinophilia, and serum total IgE were analyzed.
Twelve genes were confirmed to be upregulated in current adult allergic rhinitis patients allergic to multiple allergens, and 10 of them were also increased in the suspected allergic rhinitis and nonallergic rhinitis groups. TFF3 and ITLN1 expressions were increased in allergic rhinitis and suspected allergic rhinitis, but not nonallergic rhinitis. Different expressions between the allergic rhinitis and nonallergic rhinitis groups were found for 3 genes: CST1, TFF3, and ITLN1. In the allergic rhinitis patients, all 12 genes were upregulated in the seasonal and perennial groups; 9 of these 12 genes were also upregulated in the mixed group. In suspected allergic rhinitis patients, all 12 genes were upregulated in the perennial group; 8 of these 12 genes were also upregulated in the seasonal group and only 5 in the mixed group. No gene expression was associated with disease duration and serum total IgE. GCNT3 was positively correlated with the grade of nasal smear eosinophilia in the suspected allergic rhinitis group. Different genes were found to be associated with disease severity in different rhinitis groups.
Patients with allergic rhinitis, suspected allergic rhinitis, and nonallergic rhinitis showed much similarity with regard to epithelial gene expression; most genes were related to Th2 inflammation. CST1, TFF3, and ITLN1 might have the ability to differentiate allergic rhinitis from nonallergic rhinitis. Understanding the mechanisms underlying different types of rhinitis may be helpful for rhinitis diagnosis and treatment.
© 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel.