Immune Mechanisms of Chronic Rhinosinusitis

Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2016 Jan;16(1):1. doi: 10.1007/s11882-015-0579-0.


Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a common inflammatory disease that results in a significant decrease in patient quality of life and a large economic burden. However, the lack of population-based epidemiologic studies and robust model systems has made it difficult to fully elucidate the key inflammatory pathways that drive the chronic inflammatory responses observed in CRS. This review will highlight the wide variety of factors that likely contribute to CRS disease pathogenesis. Defects in the innate immune function of the airway epithelium, including decreases in barrier function, mucociliary clearance, and production of antimicrobial peptides, all likely play a role in the initial inflammatory response. Subsequent recruitment and activation of eosinophils, mast cells, and innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) further contributes to the chronic inflammatory response and directly activates adaptive immune cells, including T and B cells. However, development of new tools and model systems is still needed to further understand the chronicity of this inflammatory response and which specific factors are necessary or sufficient to drive CRS pathogenesis. Such studies will be critical for the development of improved therapeutic strategies aimed at treating this highly prevalent and costly disease.

Keywords: Adaptive immunity; Chronic inflammation; Chronic rhinosinusitis; Epithelial cells; Innate immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Rhinitis / immunology*
  • Sinusitis / immunology*