Fungi in chronic hyperplastic eosinophilic sinusitis
Chronic hyperplastic eosinophilic sinusitis (CHES) is a T-helper (Th)2-like, lymphocyte-initiated, eosinophil-rich inflammatory disease. The complex immune interactions required to orchestrate these processes begin with the presentation of antigen by mature dendritic cells to Th lymphocytes that display the appropriate antigen-specific T-cell receptor. The objective of sinus research must be to identify and target that antigen; this will lead to the cure for this condition. This article reviews numerous models that may be responsible for the pathophysiology of this disorder, including putative roles for allergens, bacteria, and bacterial-derived superantigens, as well as recent interest in fungal-derived antigens. Additionally, we speculate that whatever the inciting cause of CHES may be, it is plausible that once initiated, cellular differentiation pathways may lead to the development of an antigen-independent permanent phase. More than one of these may be valid in different subjects and, furthermore, this list almost assuredly does not explain all cases of CHES. The concept that fungal antigens colonizing the sinuses are responsible for CHES represents an intriguing, but unproven, hypothesis. Presently, the case for the fungus remains circumstantial. The case for fungi will be proved only with definitive proof that T-cells within the sinuses are actively responding to fungal antigens present in the sinus and with the further demonstration that removal of those fungal antigens ameliorates the disease.
Index EntriesChronic sinusitis allergic inflammation fungal colonization bacterial superantigen eosinophil
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