Observations on the pathogenesis of nasal priming

Michael Wachs, David Proud, Lawrence M. Lichtenstein, Anne Kagey-Sobotka, Philip S. Norman, Robert M. Naclerio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


To understand better the response of patients with allergic rhinitis to nasal challenge with antigen, we studied the mechanism of priming, that is, the increased clinical response to daily sequential nasal challenges. Ten subjects with ragweed hay fever were challenged four times with increasing doses of ragweed pollen. The first 2 challenge days were separated by 2 weeks, whereas the last three challenges occurred on sequential days. Nasal lavages, performed before and after each nasal challenge, were evaluated for levels of inflammatory mediators and cellular content. In contrast to control days, a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the number of sneezes occurred on both priming days. Priming was associated with a significant increase in the level of histamine on both priming days, whereas the second priming day was also associated with an increase in TAME-esterase activity, kinins, and prostaglandin D2 obtained after challenge (p < 0.05 for all). In the lavages before challenge on the priming days, the total number of cells and the number of neutrophils, eosinophils, and alcian blue-positive cells were significantly increased, but in contrast, basal levels of mediators were not. The net increase in the number of alcian blue-positive cells correlated with the net increase in the amount of histamine released on the priming days (r = 0.661; p < 0.05). These studies suggest that priming results, in part, from increased mediator release from influxing inflammatory cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-501
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
Issue number4 PART 1
StatePublished - Oct 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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