Mechanisms and pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis

Atsushi Kato*, Robert P. Schleimer, Benjamin S. Bleier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a heterogeneous disease characterized by local inflammation of the upper airways and is historically divided into 2 main phenotypes: CRS with nasal polyps and CRS without nasal polyps. Inflammation in CRS is mainly characterized by 3 endotypes based on elevation of canonical lymphocyte cytokines: type (T) 1 (T1) by TH1 cytokine IFN-γ, T2 by TH2 cutokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13, and T3 by TH17 cytokines including IL-17. Inflammation in both CRS without nasal polyps and CRS with nasal polyps is highly heterogeneous, and the frequency of various endotypes varies geographically around the world. This finding complicates establishment of a unified understanding of the mechanisms of pathogenesis in CRS. Sinonasal epithelium acts as a passive barrier, and epithelial barrier dysfunction is a common feature in CRS induced by endotype-specific cytokines directly and indirectly. The sinonasal epithelium also participates in both innate immunity via recognition by innate pattern-recognition receptors and promotes and regulates adaptive immunity via release of chemokines and innate cytokines including thymic stromal lymphopoietin. The purpose of this review was to discuss the contribution of the epithelium to CRS pathogenesis and to update the field regarding endotypic heterogeneity and various mechanisms for understanding pathogenesis in CRS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1503
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • endotype
  • eosinophils
  • epithelial dysfunction
  • nasal polyps
  • neutrophils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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