Rationale: Clara cell 10-kD (CC10) protein, an antiinflammatory molecule, is involved in inflammatory upper airway diseases, but its regulatory role is unclear, particularly in the process of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS).
Objectives: To investigate the regulatory mechanisms of CC10 in eosinophilic CRS (ECRS) using an allergic mouse model.
Methods: Homozygous CC10-knockout mice were used to establish an allergic ECRS model. Phenotypic changes were examined by histology, cytokine ELISA, and gene microarray analysis. Differential expression of chitinase 3-like 1 (CHI3L1) was verified by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. The functional role of CHI3L1 in vivo was assessed by the use of anti-CHI3L1 antibody in ECRS mice. CHI3L1 gene expression regulated by inflammatory cytokines and CC10 protein was performed using BEAS-2B cell line.
Measurements and main results: Compared with wild-type mice, a significantly greater extent of inflammatory cell infiltration and tissue remodeling was found in CC10-knockout ECRS mice, which was associated with significantly higher levels of various cytokines and eotaxin-1. CHI3L1 was up-regulated in ECRS mice with a significant further increase in CC10-knockout mice. Anti-CHI3L1 treatment markedly ameliorated eosinophilic inflammation. Furthermore, nasal mucosal CC10 gene transfer in CC10-knockout mice attenuated eosinophilic inflammation and suppressed the levels of CHI3L1. Moreover, significantly up-regulated expression of CHI3L1 was noted in human ECRS. IL-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and IL-13 were found to up-regulate CHI3L1 expression in BEAS-2B cells, whereas CC10 inhibited such up-regulation.
Conclusions: These results suggest that CHI3L1 is a novel molecule involved in ECRS and that CC10 plays a regulatory role in ECRS, presumably by attenuating CHI3L1 expression.