Little is known about the cellular infiltrates in the nasal mucosa of children. This study was set up to compare the nasal cellular infiltrates in biopsy specimens from allergic children and controls. Atopic children were distinguished from controls on the basis of symptoms of allergic rhinitis and/or asthma, total serum immunoglobulin (Ig)E, family history and specific serum IgE to food and aeroallergens. Fifteen allergic patients (median age 4.3 yrs) and 15 age-matched nonallergic control subjects were evaluated. The number of cells positive for CD1a, CD4, CD8, CD19, CD68, chymase, tryptase, IgE and major basic protein was determined in the mucosa of the inferior turbinate. A significantly higher number of IgE-positive cells and mast cells was found in the epithelia of the allergic group. In the lamina propria, higher numbers of IgE-positive cells and eosinophils were found. Langerhans' cells positive for IgE were only seen in allergic children with specific serum IgE against aeroallergens. These children also had a higher number of IgE-positive mast cells compared to controls and atopic children without specific serum IgE. These results show that the nasal cellular infiltrates of allergic children differ from nonallergic control subjects. Prior to the detection of specific serum immunoglobulin E, cellular changes can be found in the nasal mucosa of atopic children.

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The European Respiratory Journal
Department of Otorhinolaryngology

Vinke, J., Kleinjan, A., Severijnen, L.-A., Hoeve, H., & Fokkens, W. (1999). Differences in nasal cellular infiltrates between allergic children and age-matched controls. The European Respiratory Journal, 13(4), 797–803. doi:10.1034/j.1399-3003.1999.13d17.x