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December 1991

Regenerating Human Nasal Mucosa Cells Express Peptide Growth Factors

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Histology (Drs Hansson and K. Petruson) and Ear-Nose-Throat Medicine (Drs Jørgensen and B. Petruson), University of Göteborg (Sweden).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117(12):1368-1377. doi:10.1001/archotol.1991.01870240060010

• The goal of this study was to investigate if the distribution of peptide growth factors in the human nasal mucosa could be correlated to its maintenance and to repair processes. Biopsy specimens from clinically healthy humans, aged 6 months to 70 years, were investigated immunohistochemically. In the intact human nasal mucosa, only scattered basal epithelial cells and rare, randomly distributed cells in the lamina propria expressed peptide growth factor immunoreactivity. In contrast, in areas with deficient epithelial lining and infiltration of inflammatory cells, intense insulinlike growth factor I immunoreactivity was demonstrable in reactive epithelial cells, while adjacent, more differentiated cells were nonreactive. Vascular wall cells, fibroblasts, macrophages, and exocrine gland cells in the reactive nasal mucosa showed variable insulinlike growth factor I immunoreactivity and, at lower frequencies and intensities, immunoreactivity to insulinlike growth factor II, basic fibroblast growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor, and transforming growth factor β, as did cells in the normally nonreactive exocrine glands. Macrophages and vascular smooth-muscle cells could in addition express platelet-derived growth factor immunoreactivity. Increased cell proliferation was recognized in reactive areas of the nasal mucosa specimens, ie, in those concomitantly showing distinct peptide growth factor immunoreactivity. We concluded that a complex pattern of peptide growth factor immunoreactivity is transiently expressed by reactive and regenerating nasal mucosal cells, contrasting with the nonreactive normal, differentiated cells. The close correlation between the appearance of peptide growth factors and the local repair and maintenance processes supports our working hypothesis that peptide growth factors are of functional importance for the nasal mucosa.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117:1368-1377)

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