Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 219-226

First online:

Cyclooxygenases and the pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis and nasal polyposis

  • Josep M. Guilemany
  • , Jordi Roca-Ferrer
  • , Joaquim MullolAffiliated withRhinology Unit and Smell Clinic, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hospital Clínic i Universitari c/Villarroel Email author 

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Cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes catalyze the rate-limiting steps in prostaglandin synthesis. Prostaglandins have an important role in several physiological processes such as maintenance of gastrointestinal integrity and pathological processes such as inflammation and neoplasia. Several mechanisms have been proposed for the development of chronic rhinosinusitis, but the common final pathway seems to be an integrated process involving the mucosal epithelium, matrix, and inflammatory cells and mediators. Upper and lower airway pathologies coexist and share common etiopathogenic mechanisms, and nasal polyposis is often associated with asthma and aspirin sensitivity. The cellular source of COX activity in acute and chronic inflammation, as in chronic rhinosinusitis, is poorly understood. COX theory postulated that inhibition of COX broke down biochemical reactions that lead to the development of asthma attacks. This article focuses on COX in the pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis and nasal polyposis.