Role of the type I tumor necrosis factor receptor in inflammation-associated olfactory dysfunction

Davi Sousa Garcia, Mengfei Chen, Amy K. Smith, Paulo Roberto Lazarini, Andrew P. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: To understand mechanisms of human olfactory dysfunction in chronic rhinosinusitis, an inducible olfactory inflammation (IOI) model has been utilized to chronically express inflammatory cytokines locally, resulting in neuronal loss, diminished odorant responses, and repressed olfactory regeneration. Knockout of the minor tumor necrosis factor α receptor 2 (TNFR2) was previously shown to partially rescue these olfactory changes. The purpose of current study was to investigate the role of the major TNF receptor, TNFR1, in chronic olfactory inflammation. Methods: Two experimental groups of mice were studied: TNFR1 knockout in IOI background and TNFR1 knockout with allergen-induced inflammation. Olfactory function was assayed by electro-olfactogram (EOG), and olfactory tissue was processed for histology and immunohistochemical staining. Results: TNF-α was dramatically induced in IOI-TNFR1 knockout mice, but the olfactory epithelium did not show inflammation. EOG responses were normal after either 2 or 8 weeks of TNF-α expression. Ovalbumin-sensitized TNFR1 knockout mice developed markedly diminished eosinophilic inflammatory infiltration. Conclusion: Genetic deletion of TNFR1 completely blocks TNF-α–induced inflammation and reduces allergen-induced inflammation. Preserved EOG responses suggest a TNFR1-dependent mechanism of TNF-α–induced olfactory neuron dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-168
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • TNF-alpha
  • TNFR1
  • eosinophils
  • inflammation
  • olfactory epithelium
  • transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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