Seasonal proteome changes of nasal mucus reflect perennial inflammatory response and reduced defence mechanisms and plasticity in allergic rhinitis

J Proteomics. 2016 Feb 5;133:153-160. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2015.12.021. Epub 2015 Dec 28.


Introduction: Nasal mucus and its proteins are a defence against allergens. We sought to investigate dynamic proteome changes in allergic rhinitis upon environmental allergen provocation.

Methods: Nasal mucus was collected in and out of pollen season from allergic rhinitis patients (N=10) and healthy controls (N=12). Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was performed. Proteins were identified by SwissProt database search and quantified from normalized areas under curve of precursor ion chromatograms. Gene enrichment analysis was performed with Cytoscape/BINGO software.

Results: In total 430 different proteins were detected in both groups, 203 (47.2%) were newly identified. In allergics CLU and IGKC were significantly more abundant in season (2.2 and 2.1-fold respectively). GSTP1 (0.5-fold), ELANE (0.4-fold), HIST1H2BK (0.3-fold), S100A8 (0.2-fold), S100A12 (0.2-fold) and ARHGDIB (0.1-fold) were significantly less abundant in season. In healthy controls UBC, TUBA1B, HBB and FABP5 were only present in season. Ig kappa chain V-I region DEE (5.3-fold), CLU (5.0-fold), TXN (4.3-fold), MSMB (3.2-fold) and Ig heavy chain V-III region BRO (2.7-fold) were significantly more abundant in season. MUC5B (0.5-fold), SLPI (0.2-fold) and S100P (0.2-fold) were significantly less abundant in season.

Conclusion: Contrary to their symptoms allergic rhinitis patients show perennial inflammatory response lacking adequate reaction to allergens in season.

Biological significance: Many studies dealing with allergic rhinitis are focused on the nasal epithelium. This is the first study to analyse the nasal mucus as primary defence barrier on a proteomic level in and out of pollen season and contrary to the leading opinion shows that allergic patients show a perennial inflammatory response with reduced reaction to allergens whereas healthy controls react on proteome basis towards enhanced defence in season despite lacking allergic sensitization.

Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; Mass spectrometry; Nasal mucus; Proteome; Proteomics; Seasonal differences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Male
  • Nasal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / metabolism*
  • Seasons*


  • Proteome