Enhanced expression of SAM-pointed domain-containing Ets-like factor in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW Short palate, lung, and nasal epithelial clone 1 (SPLUNC1) is an epithelium-secreted protein that is involved in innate immunity. A protective role for SPLUNC1 in lower respiratory inflammation and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) has recently been recognized. RECENT FINDINGS An impaired epithelial immune barrier has been proposed to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of CRS. Recent research has demonstrated that SPLUNC1 is profoundly reduced in polyp tissues of CRS with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) compared with control tissues. Studies investigating the differential expression of SPLUNC1 in eosinophilic and noneosinophilic CRSwNP have been published. Nasal SPLUNC1 expression was inhibited by Th2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-13) but was stimulated by toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists and glucocorticoids. Decreased SPLUNC1 expression in the sinus mucosa is associated with positive Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterial colonization and poor surgical outcomes in CRS patients. SUMMARY These studies identify the role of SPLUNC1 in sinonasal innate immunity and the pathogenesis of CRS. Defective expression of SPLUNC1 in CRSwNP patients may lead to insufficient maintenance of the epithelial barrier function and enhanced bacterial colonization. The use of SPLUNC1 as a therapeutic target for CRSwNP remains to be determined.