The role of hepatocyte growth factor/c-Met in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps

Douglas D. Reh, Murugappan Ramanathan, Babar Sultan, Yadong Wang, Lindsey May, Andrew P. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a growth factor thought to attenuate Th2-driven eosinophilic airway inflammatory responses. Increased expression of HGF and its receptor c-Met in nasal polyps suggests a role in disease pathogenesis. The effect of HGF on human sinonasal epithelial cell (SNEC) responses to Th2 inflammatory cytokines in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) has not been explored. Methods: SNECs isolated from patients with CRSwNP and control subjects were grown in cell culture at the air-liquid interface. The Th2 cytokine IL-13 was applied for 24 hours in the presence or absence of HGF. Eotaxin-3 and c-Met expression was assessed using real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry, and flow cytometry. Results: SNECs obtained from both CRSwNP and control subjects showed markedly increased expression of eotaxin-3 after exposure to IL-13. HGF significantly blocked IL-13-induced expression of eotaxin-3 in control SNECs, but not in SNECs derived from CRSwNP subjects. Conclusion: SNECs are active participants in sinonasal mucosal immunity, expressing inflammatory mediators in response to potential pathogens and endogenous cytokines. Although Th2 cytokines can elicit expression of proeosinophilic mediators by SNECs, HGF appears to have a down-regulating effect on this response. In patients with CRSwNP, SNECs are resistant to this attenuation, showing continued IL-13-induced eotaxin-3 expression despite HGF treatment. Abnormalities in the regulation of epithelial cell responses to endogenous cytokines and growth factors may contribute to the persistent eosinophilic inflammatory state in CRSwNP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-270
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Chronic
  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • HGF
  • Hepatocyte growth factor
  • Nasal epithelial
  • Nasal polyps
  • Polyps
  • Rhinosinusitis
  • SNEC
  • c-Met

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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