Effects of topical nasal steroids on human respiratory mucosa and human granulocytes in vitro

Acta Otolaryngol. 1996 Nov;116(6):868-75. doi: 10.3109/00016489609137943.


Human respiratory mucosa and human granulocytes were exposed to topical nasal steroids in vitro. The preparations containing benzalkonium chloride and benzalkonium chloride alone destroyed the mucosa within 10 days. The same preparations also inhibited human neutrophil actin polymerization, degranulation and oxidative burst in vitro in a time and concentration dependent manner. Preparations without benzalkonium chloride, as well as the steroid compounds themselves, did not have these effects. It is concluded that benzalkonium chloride has toxic effects on human respiratory mucosa and human neutrophils in vitro.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoids / drug effects
  • Adenoids / ultrastructure
  • Administration, Topical*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / toxicity
  • Benzalkonium Compounds / administration & dosage*
  • Benzalkonium Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Benzalkonium Compounds / toxicity
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Granulocytes / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nasal Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Nasal Mucosa / ultrastructure
  • Neutrophils / physiology
  • Steroids


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Benzalkonium Compounds
  • Steroids