Lysozyme expression is increased in the sinus mucosa of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis

Charmaine Woods, Vivienne Lee, Damian Hussey, S Irandoust, Eng Ooi, L W Tan, Andrew Carney

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The presence of fungi and bacteria in the paranasal sinuses may contribute to ongoing inflammation. Lysozyme is an innate immune peptide with bactericidal and fungicidal activity. The expression of lysozyme in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is poorly understood and deficiencies in lysozyme expression may contribute to the ongoing inflammation in CRS patients. Objective: Determine lysozyme expression in sinus mucosa of normal and CRS patients with (CRSwNP) and without (CRSsNP) nasal polyps. Methodology: Sinus mucosa specimens (n = 82) were processed for standard histology, immunohistochemical localisation of lysozyme, immunofluorescent localisation of fungi, and qPCR analysis of lysozyme expression. Results: CRS specimens displayed high-levels of lysozyme immunoreactivity in many of the abundant serous cells. Moderate levels were detected in some epithelial cells and inflammatory cells. Low levels were detected in some subepithelial glands of control specimens. No difference in immunoreactivity was detected between CRSwNP and CRSsNP specimens. Fungal elements were not visualised in any sinus specimen. qPCR analysis demonstrated variable lysozyme expression between individuals. Conclusions: Lysozyme protein expression is increased in patients with CRS, suggesting a defect in lysozyme expression is not responsible for the microbial colonisation often associated with CRS. The functional activity of lysozyme in CRS patients needs to be further investigated.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-156
    Number of pages10
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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