Reversal of chronic rhinosinusitis-associated sinonasal ciliary dysfunction

Bei Chen, Marcelo B. Antunes, Steven Eau Claire, James N. Palmer, Alexander G. Chiu, David W. Kennedy, Noam A. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background: Although multiple etiologies contribute to the development of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), a common pathophysiological sequelae is ineffective sinonasal mucociliary clearance, leading to stasis of sinonasal secretions, with subsequent infection and/or persistent inflammation. Proper therapeutic intervention typically restores mucociliary activity, suggesting that the pathophysiological process(es) responsible for CRS-associated mucostasis may be reversible. We previously demonstrated a blunted response of CRS sinonasal cilia after purinergic stimulation. This study investigated whether the blunted ciliary response is unique to purinergic stimulation and addressed whether the blunted effect is primarily caused by local CRS-associated mediators or inherent genetic defects in ciliary function. Methods: A dual temperature-controlled perfusion chamber, differential interference contrast microscopy, and high-speed digital video were used to analyze both basal as well as cholinergic, adrenergic, and purinergic stimulation of cilia in human sinonasal mucosal explants. Additionally, enzymically dissociated sinonasal ciliated cells were maintained ex vivo in submersion, on glass coverslips, and assessed daily for purinergic ciliary beat frequency stimulation. Results: Cholinergic and adrenergic stimulation generally were blunted in mucosal explants obtained from CRS patients. Ex vivo maintenance of samples demonstrated that the majority of CRS samples developed a stimulatory phenotype within 36 hours of culturing. Conclusion: CRS is a common debilitating disease principally affecting sinonasal epithelial function with a resultant diminution of mucociliary transport. Presently, little is known about how this disease process affects the sinonasal epithelial ciliated cells. Our data suggest that ciliary response to environmental insults is blunted in a reversible manner in CRS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007


  • ATP
  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • Ciliary beat frequency
  • Isoproterenol
  • Methacholine
  • Mucociliary clearance
  • Sinonasal polyps
  • Stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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