Numerous peripheral tissues possess self-sustaining daily biologic rhythms that are regulated at the molecular level by clock genes such as PER1, PER2, CLOCK, and BMAL1. Physiological function of nasal mucosa exhibits rhythmic variability to a day-night environmental cycle. Nevertheless, little is known of the expression and distribution pattern of clock genes in nasal mucosa. The present study investigates the expression level and distribution pattern of PER1, PER2, CLOCK, and BMAL1 genes in nasal mucosa of healthy controls, allergic rhinitis patients, and normal rats. In human and rat nasal mucosa, the levels of these genes are asymmetrically expressed in nasal mucosa derived from right and left cavities in normal controls, allergic patients, and rat. In human nasal mucosa, the expression levels of these genes were higher in the decongested side than the congested mucosa. In rat nasal mucosa, these clock genes are expressed in a rhythmic circadian manner under the regular light/dark cycles. The expression levels of MUC5AC, a key mucin genes produced in superficial epithelium, are higher in decongested side than that congested side in human nasal mucosa. In rat nasal mucosa, MUC5AC levels showed a circadian rhythm which was associated with different expression levels in nasal mucosa derived from the right and left nasal cavities. Taken together with these results, the present study shows that the clock genes such as PER1, PER2, CLOCK, and BMAL1 are present in human and rat nasal mucosa, and suggest that these clock genes may control the pathophysiological function of nasal mucosa as circadian oscillators and affect the maintenance of the nasal cycle.
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