Alternative method for primary nasal epithelial cell culture using intranasal brushing and feasibility for the study of epithelial functions in allergic rhinitis

Do Yang Park, Sujin Kim, Chang Hoon Kim, Joo Heon Yoon, Hyun Jik Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Although differentiated normal human nasal epithelial (NHNE) cells can be used to study the role of human nasal epithelium, there is a need for effective culture models of nasal epithelium in sinonasal disease status, including allergic rhinitis (AR). We aimed to examine the feasibility of intranasal brushing for culture of nasal epithelial cells in AR patients and to verify the hypothesis that allergic nasal epithelial (ARNE) cells differ in histologic and physiologic characteristics. Methods: We established a system for isolating (via intranasal brushing) and culturing (with air-liquid interface, ALI) nasal epithelial cells from healthy volunteers (n=8) and AR patients (n=8). We used this system to compare the histologic findings and physiologic characteristics of NHNE and ARNE. Results: The histology results showed that fully differentiated ALI culture was obtained at least 14 days after confluence and that both ciliated and secretory cells were well differentiated in ALI culture using nasal brushing. The histology results of ARNE culture were significantly different from NHNE. The number of ciliated cells was lower, and secretory cells were more dominant in ARNE cell culture compared to NHNE cells. We also observed, by electron microscopy, loose tight junctions and short cilia in cultured ARNE cells. In addition, the mRNA level of TSLP which was one of the epithelial-derived allergic cytokines was significantly higher, and the expressions of genes involved in ciliogenesis were lower in cultured ARNE cells without allergen stimulation. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that ALI culture of ARNE cells using intranasal brushing may be an alternative method for epithelial cell culture in AR patients and that cultured ARNE cells will be useful for in vitro studies of the mechanisms at play during AR because they maintain unique allergic characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalAllergy, Asthma and Immunology Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology • The Korean Academy of Pediatric Allergy and Respiratory Disease.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Alternative method for primary nasal epithelial cell culture using intranasal brushing and feasibility for the study of epithelial functions in allergic rhinitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this