Background: Decreased levels of the anti-inflammatory Clara Cell Protein 16 (CC16) are found in intermittent allergic rhinitis (IAR) and asthma. In asthma this decrease has been associated with hyperreactivity and the A38G single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). The aim of this study was to examine if IAR is associated with signs and symptoms of rhinitis and the A38G SNP.
Methods: Nasal fluid CC16 was analyzed in 20 patients with IAR before allergen challenge and 1 and 6 h after challenge, and from 28 healthy controls. The A38G SNP was analyzed in 80 patients with IAR and 106 controls. Nasal biopsies were obtained from three subjects in each group for immunohistochemical analysis of CC16.
Results: In the allergen-challenged patients symptoms and rhinoscopic signs of rhinitis increased after 1 h and normalized after 6 h. In contrast, nasal fluid CC16 decreased 1 h after allergen challenge and returned to baseline after 6 h. Nasal fluid CC16 levels did not differ from controls before and 6 h after challenge. Immunohistochemical investigation showed intense CC16 staining in the nasal epithelium of both patients before season and healthy controls, but weak staining in symptomatic patients during season. No significant association between the A38G SNP and IAR was found.
Conclusion: There was an inverse relation between nasal fluid CC16 levels and symptoms and signs of rhinitis in allergen-challenged patients with IAR. However, there was no association between IAR and the A38G SNP.