Possible Cause of CRS is Identified

Interleukin 32 is elevated in chronic rhinosinusitis patients

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) sure knows how to overstay its welcome. New research is discovering potential targets to cut the disease's visit short.

CRS is a form of sinusitis that can last for at least three months or longer and can be caused by nasal polyps, allergies or facial trauma.

Inflammation occurs in the sinuses which creates mucus buildup, difficulty breathing through the nose, sinus pain and facial swelling.

Researchers discovered that levels of the protein, Interleukin 32 (IL-32), were elevated in CRS patients and may be one of the causes of the disease.

"Ask your doctor about the different types of rhinosinusitis."

The study was led by Michael B. Soyka, M.D., from the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research in Davos, Switzerland. Researchers conducted biopsies on CRS patients and collected the tissue lining the surface of the sinuses called human primary sinonasal epithelial cells.

IL-32 is involved with signaling cells from the immune system which are associated with inflammation. Because IL-32 is associated with many chronic inflammation diseases, researchers isolated IL-32 in the tissue collected from the biopsies and stimulated the protein with other proteins associated with CRS.

Two proteins associated with CRS, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ), caused an increased response and expression by IL-32 in the collected tissue. The two proteins cause a greater reaction by IL-32 which results in the sinus inflammation to increase and extending the disease.

IL-32 levels were higher in the tissue collected from individuals with CRS and individuals with CRS and nasal polyps than healthy individuals. According to researchers, IL-32 levels were practically non-existent in healthy tissue.

Isolating IL-32 as one of the possible causes of CRS can help researchers develop new treatments that regulate the effects of IL-32. Researchers can focus on the other factors that can cause CRS, such as nasal polyps or allergies, to better understand the role of IL-32 in CRS.

No funding information was provided.

The study was published in the April edition of Allergy.

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Review Date: 
April 19, 2012
Last Updated:
April 19, 2012