Interleukins (ILs) including IL13 (Th2 cytokine) are inflammatory mediators and their role in asthma has been detailed before. This study explores IL13 receptor expression in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). The authors investigate protein and mRNA expression levels of IL-13 and its receptors in the nasal mucosa of 27 healthy and 49 CRSwNP patients, in particular goblet cell differentiation, mucus production and ciliary beating frequency (CBF).
IL-13, IL-13R α1, and IL-13Rα2 mRNA and protein levels were significantly higher in patients with CRSwNP mucosa. The negative effects of IL-13Rα2 on mucus production and ciliary function were inhibited with Extracellular Related Kinases (ERK)1/2 inhibitor and dexamethasone. The authors comment on the low number of specimens being a limiting factor and the in vitro nature of the study. They conclude that IL-13 receptors and ERK1/2 inhibitors are attractive targets for therapeutic intervention in inflammatory disease of the upper airway. This study shows potential for new treatments and the possibility of medicating CRSwNP patients with medications other than steroids. However, the choice of inferior turbinate mucosa as control is questionable. Inferior turbinates are rarely affected with polypoid changes which might indicate differences in mucosal reactions to inflammatory triggers between the inferior turbinates and the rest of nasal mucosa.