Background: Upper airway diseases and especially the aspirin hypersensitivity syndrome have been linked to changes in the arachidonic acid cascade; however, the specificity of these changes and their relation to inflammatory reactions in these diseases still remain controversial.
Objective: We aimed to study the tissue eicosanoid production in 3 subgroups of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) and control subjects and to correlate it with the severity of inflammation and clinical manifestation of aspirin sensitivity.
Methods: Samples were prepared from sinonasal tissue of patients with CRS with (CRS-NP group, n = 13) and without nasal polyposis (CRS group, n = 11), sinonasal tissue of patients with nasal polyposis and aspirin sensitivity (CRS-ASNP group, n = 13), and normal nasal mucosa from healthy subjects (NM group, n = 8). Real-time PCR was applied for mRNA quantification of COX-2, 5-lipoxygenase, leukotriene C 4 synthase, and 15-lipoxygenase. Enzyme immunoassays were used to measure IL-5, eosinophil cationic protein, and eicosanoid (leukotriene [LT] C 4 , LTD 4 , and LTE 4 ; lipoxin A 4 ; and prostaglandin E 2 [PGE 2 ]) concentrations.
Results: COX-2 mRNA and PGE 2 concentrations were similar in the CRS and NM groups but significantly decreased in nasal polyp tissue, especially in the CRS-ASNP group. LTC 4 synthase, 5-lipoxygenase mRNA, LTC 4 , LTD 4 , and LTE 4 concentrations increased with disease severity among the patient groups. 15-Lipoxygenase and lipoxin A 4 concentrations were increased in all CRS groups compared with in the NM group but were significantly downregulated in the CRS-ASNP group when compared with the CRS-NP group. IL-5 and eosinophil cationic protein were increased in both groups of nasal polyp tissue compared with in the NM and CRS groups and correlated directly with LTC 4 , LTD 4 , and LTE 4 concentrations and inversely with PGE 2 concentrations.
Conclusion: Changes of tissue eicosanoid metabolism do occur in CRS, even in the absence of clinical aspirin sensitivity, and these changes appear to be related to the severity of eosinophilic inflammation.