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Cellular and molecular mechanisms of chronic rhinosinusitis and potential therapeutic strategies: review on cytokines, nuclear factor kappa B and transforming growth factor beta

  • N T Phan (a1) (a2), P J Cabot (a1), B D Wallwork (a2) (a3), A U Cervin (a3) (a4) and B J Panizza (a2) (a3)...



Chronic rhinosinusitis is characterised by persistent inflammation of the sinonasal mucosa. Multiple pathophysiological mechanisms are likely to exist. Previous research has focused predominantly on T-helper type cytokines to highlight the inflammatory mechanisms. However, proteins such as nuclear factor kappa B and transforming growth factor beta are increasingly recognised to have important roles in sinonasal inflammation and tissue remodelling.


This review article explores the roles of T-helper type cytokines, nuclear factor kappa B and transforming growth factor beta in the pathophysiological mechanisms of chronic rhinosinusitis. An understanding of these mechanisms will allow for better identification and classification of chronic rhinosinusitis endotypes, and, ultimately, improved therapeutic strategies.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Nga T Phan, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Princess Alexandra Hospital, 199 Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba, QLD 4120, Australia Fax: (07) 3394 2263 E-mail:


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