Background: Glucocorticoids are used to treat allergic rhinitis, but the mechanisms by which they induce disease remission are unclear. 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD) is a tissue-specific regulator of glucocorticoid responses, inducing the interconversion of inactive and active glucocorticoids. Objective: We analysed the expression and distribution patterns of 11β-HSD1, 11β-HSD2, and steroidogenic enzymes in normal and allergic nasal mucosa, and cytokine-driven regulation of their expression. The production levels of cortisol in normal, allergic nasal mucosa and in cultured epithelial cells stimulated with cytokines were also determined. Methods: The expression levels of 11β-HSD1, 11β-HSD2, steroidogenic enzymes (CYP11B1, CYP11A1), and cortisol in normal, mild, and moderate/severe persistent allergic nasal mucosa were assessed by real-time PCR, Western blot, immunohistochemistry, and ELISA. The expression levels of 11β-HSD1, 11β-HSD2, CYP11B1, CYP11A1, and cortisol were also determined in cultured nasal epithelial cell treated with IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-17A, and IFN-γ. Conversion ratio of cortisone to cortisol was evaluated using siRNA technique, 11β-HSD1 inhibitor, and the measurement of 11β-HSD1 activity. Results: The expression levels of 11β-HSD1, CYP11B1, and cortisol were up-regulated in mild and moderate/severe persistent allergic nasal mucosa. By contrast, 11β-HSD2 expression was decreased in allergic nasal mucosa. In cultured epithelial cells treated with IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, and IL-17A, 11β-HSD1 expression and activity increased in parallel with the expression levels of CYP11B1 and cortisol, but the production of 11β-HSD2 decreased. CYP11A1 expression level was not changed in allergic nasal mucosa or in response to stimulation with cytokines. SiRNA technique or the measurement of 11β-HSD1 activity showed that nasal epithelium activates cortisone to cortisol in a 11β-HSD-dependent manner. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: These results indicate that the localized anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids are regulated by inflammatory cytokines, which can modulate the expression of 11β-HSD1, 11β-HSD2, and CYP11B1, and by the intracellular concentrations of bioactive glucocorticoids.
- Mild persistent allergic rhinitis
- Moderate/severe persistent allergic rhinitis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy