The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) system plays a crucial role in mucus production in vitro and in rats. However, the role of the EGF-R system in humans is not known. We compared the localization of EGF-R and its ligands (epidermal growth factor and transforming growth factor ct) in the epithelia of sinuses with chronic sinusitis and in those of healthy controls. Immunohistochemical techniques were employed to identify the presence of EGF-R and its ligands in the sinus mucosa. We found EGF-R in goblet cells, basal cells, and submucosal gland cells, but not in ciliated cells. Immunoreactivity for both epidermal growth factor and transforming growth factor ct was found in the epithelial cells and inflammatory cells and in some submucosal gland cells. There was stronger staining of EGF-R and its ligand proteins in chronic sinusitis specimens than in controls. The interrelated localization of EGF-R and its ligands suggests a role in mucus production in the epithelium of the sinus mucosa.
- Chronic sinusitis
- Epidermal growth factor
- Epidermal growth factor receptor
- Transforming growth factor α
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