Objectives/Hypothesis: Nasal polyps are benign mucosal protrusions into the nasal cavity of multifactorial origin and are characterized by chronic mucosal inflammation. The suggested multifactorial pathological mechanisms comprise several factors including cytokines and immunoglobulin E (IgE). The study was designed to examine the suggested roles of IgE, interleukin-5 (IL5), and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) in the pathogenesis of nasal polyposis. Methods: Nasal polyps (n = 34) and healthy nasal mucosa samples (n = 9) were taken during routine endonasal surgeries. Immunoglobulin E (n = 13), IL-5 (n = 22), and TGF-β1 (n = 27) concentrations were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique in homogenized polyp tissue and in control mucosa. Atopic and nonatopic groups were selected and compared. Histomorphological examination and immunohistochemical analysis to detect IL-5 and TGF-β1 were performed in five specimens. Results: The level of tissue-bound IgE was significantly higher in polyps compared with control specimens and in atopic compared with nonatopic polyps, but between nonatopic polyps and control specimens the difference was not significant. However, significant correlation was found between tissue and serum IgE in the complete polyp (P = .001) and atopic polyps group (P = .05). Tissue IL-5 concentration was significantly higher in polyps compared with control specimens, in which it was below the limit (15 pg/mL), and there was no difference between atopic and nonatopic polyps. In atopic polyps there was significant correlation between tissue IgE and IL-5. Transforming growth factor-β1 concentration proved to be significantly higher in control mucosa than in polyps, with no difference between atopic and nonatopic polyps. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed numerous IL-5-positive eosinophil cells and TGF-β1 positivity in the lamina propria of polyp samples, but none in control specimens. Conclusions: High tissue TGF-β1 quantity in healthy nasal mucosa without its active form on the cell surface and its low quantity in polyps may reflect its essential role in the inhibitory mechanisms of nasal polyposis. Interleukin-5 plays a key role in the eosinophil recruitment and activation, and both atopic and nonatopic pathways might activate this process. The main sources of IL-5 and TGF-β1 are the eosinophils and macrophages. Immediate hypersensitivity, besides other mechanisms, might be related to atopic polyps, but the involvement of other, local allergic mechanisms in IgE production of nonatopic polyp tissue cannot be excluded.
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