Evaluation of the frequency of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells in nasal polyps

Clin Immunol. 2019 Aug:205:125-129. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2019.05.013. Epub 2019 May 29.


Nasal polyps (NP) are associated with inflamed mucosa of unknown etiology. The role of T cells in nasal polyposis is unclear. Invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT) can promote Th2 responses and have been implicated in some types of asthma. As there are shared inflammatory pathways involved in asthma and NPs, we evaluated the frequency of iNKT in 17 patients with NPs, but without asthma. A median of 6% polyp cells were T lymphocytes, of which iNKT were 0 to 2.38% (mean 0.674%). In the matched group (n = 10), iNKT in NPs was significantly higher than PBMCs (1.057% vs 0.155%, P < 0.05). Relative expression of Vα24 to TCR-beta genes in polyps (n = 14) was higher than blood in matched samples (n = 4). The presence of greater proportions of iNKT in NPs than in blood suggests that iNKT may play a role in the pathogenesis of nasal polyposis.

Keywords: Flow cytometry; Invariant natural killer T-cells; NKT; Nasal polyp; Th2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Genes, T-Cell Receptor beta / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / metabolism
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Polyps / genetics
  • Nasal Polyps / metabolism
  • Nasal Polyps / pathology*
  • Nasal Polyps / surgery
  • Natural Killer T-Cells / pathology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Rhinitis / genetics
  • Rhinitis / metabolism
  • Rhinitis / pathology
  • Sinusitis / genetics
  • Sinusitis / metabolism
  • Sinusitis / pathology
  • Young Adult


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Valpha24 protein, human
  • Immunoglobulin E