Differential expression and release of activin a and follistatin in chronic rhinosinusitis with and without nasal polyps

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© 2015 Yang et al. Background: Chronic rhinosinusitis with (CRSwNP) and without nasal polyps (CRSsNP) should be regarded as distinct clinical entities based on differential inflammatory mediator and remodeling profiles. Activin A, a member of the TGF-β superfamily, plays an important role in inflammation and remodeling in the lower airways, although its expression and release in the upper airways remain undescribed. Objective: To investigate the expression of activin A and its inhibitor follistatin in nasal tissue samples from CRSsNP and CRSwNP patients, and to monitor the spontaneous release of these molecules in a human mucosal model. Methods: Protein levels were determined using ELISA for activin A, follistatin, TGF-β1 and indicator proteins (IL-5, ECP, IFNγ) in 13 CRSsNP, 23 CRSwNP, and 10 control samples. The spontaneous release rate and the release ratios of activin A, follistatin and TGF-β1 were determined in 9 CRSsNP and 7 CRSwNP tissue fragments cultured ex-vivo. The induction of activin A and TGF-β1 by one another was studied in 7 CRSsNP tissue fragments cultured ex-vivo. Results: Significantly higher concentrations of activin A, follistatin, TGF-β1, and IFNγ were observed in CRSsNP compared with CRSwNP samples, whereas the concentrations of IL-5 and ECP were significantly lower. Follistatin was positively and linearly correlated with activin A in CRSsNP and CRSwNP. Activin A, follistatin and TGF-β1 were all spontaneously released by the samples, although the relative ratios released by tissue fragments from CRSsNP and CRSwNP samples were significantly different, with a higher follistatin/activin A-ratio and a follistatin/TGFß1-ratio (with less overall TGF-β1) in CRSwNP than in CRSsNP. Furthermore, TGF-β1 enhanced activin A secretion in CRSsNP tissue fragmentscultured ex-vivo. Conclusion: The differences in tissue concentrations and spontaneous release rates for activin A and follistatin in different CRS samples support the hypothesis that CRSsNP and CRSwNP are two distinct disease entities with respect to remodeling patterns.




Yang, Y., Zhang, N., Van Crombruggen, K., Lan, F., Hu, G., Hong, S., & Bachert, C. (2015). Differential expression and release of activin a and follistatin in chronic rhinosinusitis with and without nasal polyps. PLoS ONE, 10(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0128564

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