B Lineage Cells and IgE in Allergic Rhinitis and CRSwNP and the Role of Omalizumab Treatment

Junqin Bai, Bruce K. Tan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) are two prevalent nasal diseases where both type 2 inflammation and immunoglobulin E (IgE) may play important roles. Although they can exist independently or comorbidly, subtle but important differences exist in immunopathogenesis. Objective: To summarize current knowledge of pathophysiological roles of B lineage cells and IgE in AR and CRS with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). Methods: Searched PubMed database, reviewed AR and CRSwNP-related literature, and discussed disease diagnosis, comorbidity, epidemiology, pathophysiology, and treatment. Similarities and differences in B-cell biology and IgE are compared in the 2 conditions. Results: Both AR and CRSwNP have evidence for pathological type 2 inflammation, B-cell activation and differentiation, and IgE production. However, distinctions exist in the clinical and serological profiles at diagnosis, as well as treatments utilized. B-cell activation in AR may more frequently be regulated in the germinal center of lymphoid follicles, whereas CRSwNP may occur via extrafollicular pathways although controversies remain in these initial activating events. Oligoclonal and antigen-specific IgE maybe predominate in AR, but polyclonal and antigen-nonspecific IgE may predominate in CRSwNP. Omalizumab has been shown efficacious in treating both AR and CRSwNP in multiple clinical trials but is the only Food and Drug Administration-approved anti-IgE biologic to treat CRSwNP or allergic asthma. Staphylococcus aureus frequently colonizes the nasal airway and has the ability to activate type two responses including B-cell responses although the extent to which it modulates AR and CRSwNP disease severity is being investigated. Conclusion: This review highlights current knowledge of the roles of B cells and IgE in the pathogenesis of AR and CRSwNP and a small comparison between the 2 diseases. More systemic studies should be done to elevate the understanding of these diseases and their treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-192
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • B cell
  • allergic rhinitis
  • autoantibody
  • chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps
  • extrafollicular
  • germinal center
  • immunoglobulin E
  • omalizumab
  • plasma cell
  • type 2 inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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