Increased Expression of TXNIP Facilitates Oxidative Stress in Nasal Epithelial Cells of Patients With Chronic Rhinosinusitis With Nasal Polyps

Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2021 Sep;35(5):607-614. doi: 10.1177/1945892420982411. Epub 2020 Dec 29.


Background: Oxidative stress plays crucial roles in the pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) is essential in the process of triggering oxidative stress. However, its role and mechanism in CRSwNP remain unclear. The present study sought to explore the role and mechanism of TXNIP in the pathogenesis of CRSwNP.

Methods: Western blotting, real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were employed to assess TXNIP, thioredoxin (TRX) expression in nasal tissue samples from patients with CRSwNP and control subjects. MDA level and SOD activity in nasal tissue homogenates were measured using MDA and SOD Assay Kit. To evaluate the role and mechanism of TXNIP in CRSwNP, human nasal epithelial cells (HNECs) were cultured and stimulated using TXNIP siRNA, with or without N-acetylcysteine (NAC, an ROS scavenger). Western blotting, real-time PCR, ROS detecting dye DCFH-DA, MDA and SOD Assay Kit were performed to assess the effects and mechanisms of stimulators on the cells.

Results: We found significantly increased levels of TXNIP and decreased levels of TRX protein, mRNA, positive cells, increased MDA level and decreased SOD activity in CRSwNP patients compared with control subjects. In vitro study, significantly altered levels of TXNIP, TRX, MDA, SOD and ROS in HNECs were found following treatment of TXNIP siRNA with or without NAC on HNECs.

Conclusion: TXNIP expression was increased and TRX expression was decreased in CRSwNP at both protein and mRNA levels. MDA levels were increased and SOD activities were decreased in CRSwNP. TXNIP may have negative association with TRX, and then decrease SOD activities and increase MDA levels, resulting in the upregulation of ROS and oxidative stress in HNECs, which may play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of CRSwNP. Future studies are expected to further explore the role and mechanism of TXNIP in CRSwNP.

Keywords: chronic rhinosinusitis; human nasal epithelial cells; inflammatory disease; malondialdehyde; nasal polyp; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; superoxide dismutase; thioredoxin; thioredoxin-interacting protein.

MeSH terms

  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Chronic Disease
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Humans
  • Nasal Polyps*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Rhinitis*
  • Sinusitis*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • TXNIP protein, human