The pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) remains unclear to date. The tissue remodeling in nasal polyps may be the result of inflammatory mediators and may involve epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and EMT-associated features such as cell motility in nasal epithelial cells (NECs). We determined whether NEC in nasal polyps of CRS already display features of EMT in vivo or respond with EMT to growth factor stimulation in vitro. Nasal polyp tissues expressed both epithelial and mesenchymal markers. Primary NEC from inferior turbinates and nasal polyps responded to the EMT-inducing agents transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and epidermal growth factor (EGF) with different expression patterns of EMT markers (E-cadherin, N-cadherin, Snail, Slug, Twist), however, only NEC from nasal polyps were susceptible to TGF-β1 and EGF-dependent cell migration. Our data suggest that a partial EMT is associated with the pathogenesis of nasal polyps in CRS patients. Furthermore, we show for the first time that epithelial cells from both nasal polyps and inferior turbinates were able to undergo an EMT-like process following exposure to TGF-β1 or EGF in vitro but that only NEC from nasal polyps responded with enhanced cell motility. Our data suggest that NEC from CRS patients have undergo partial EMT and that this process may be involved in the pathogenesis of CRS.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)