Biomarker assessment in chronic rhinitis and chronic rhinosinusitis: Endothelin-1, TARC/CCL17, neopterin, and α-defensins.
BACKGROUND Chronic rhinitis (CR) is characteristically divided into several major clinical phenotypes: allergic rhinitis (AR); nonallergic, noninfectious rhinopathy (NAR); and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). CRS has two phenotypic variants: CRS with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) and CRS without nasal polyps (CRSsNP). An area of growing interest is to identify biologic markers that could assess different aspects of CR phenotypes. OBJECTIVE The aim of the study was to evaluate four CR biomarkers: endothelin-1 (ET-1), thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (CCL17), neopterin, and α-defensins in subjects with AR, NAR, and CRS. METHODS Fifty-one patients with AR, 43 patients with NAR, 46 patients with CRSsNP, 54 patients with CRSwNP, and 40 healthy controls were included. ET-1, TARC/CCL17, neopterin, and α-defensins levels in subjects' serum and nasal secretions (NS) were measured by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS High NS levels of ET-1, TARC/CCL17, and α-defensins were characteristic for CRSwNP, although only high NS levels of neopterin were found in the CRSsNP phenotype. AR phenotype was characterized by high NS levels of ET-1 and TARC/CCL17. In the subjects with NAR, none of these biomarker levels in serum and NS differed from those of healthy controls. CONCLUSIONS CR can be categorized by ET-1, TARC/CCL17, neopterin, and α-defensins into several disease phenotypes. Further studies are needed to better investigate pathophysiologic roles of these biomarkers in CRS.