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Impact of atopy, asthma, and asthma treatment on nasal epithelial wound healing
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  • Johanna Schagen,
  • Andrew Deane,
  • Isabella Andersen,
  • Dean Kelk,
  • Peter Sly,
  • Emmanuelle Fantino
Johanna Schagen
The University of Queensland
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Andrew Deane
The University of Queensland
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Isabella Andersen
The University of Queensland
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Dean Kelk
The University of Queensland
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Peter Sly
The University of Queensland
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Emmanuelle Fantino
The University of Queensland
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Abstract

Background: Abnormal wound repair is implicated in asthma pathogenesis. The nose is the point of first contact with the environment, yet wound repair ability of the nasal epithelium has received little attention. We sought to determine the impact of atopy and asthma on wound healing of nasal epithelium. Methods: Primary nasal epithelial cells harvested from adult volunteers classified into mutually exclusive groups [healthy (H), atopic non-asthmatic (ANA), non-atopic asthmatic (NAA) and atopic asthmatic (AA)] were grown into well-differentiated epithelium at the air-liquid interface. The ability of the epithelium to heal a mechanical wound was determined under various conditions. Results: Wound healing rate (%/hour) was slowest in ANA (2.9±1.8, vs 4.3±1.9 in H, p=0.02). Healing rates of AA (3.8±1.0) and NAA (4.1±1.1) were not different from H. Exogenous IL-13 slowed healing (2.2±1.1 vs 4.0±1.3, p<0.002) across all subject groups (p<0.001). However, blocking endogenous IL-13 had no effect on wound healing (p=0.68). Blocking endogenous EGF markedly slowed wound healing (0.6±0.4 vs 4.1±1.9, p=0.006), whereas adding exogenous EGF had no effect (p=0.58). Wound healing was significantly faster (4.4±1.0 vs 3.4±0.9, p=0.013) in subjects (6 AA, 9 NAA) who took regular inhaled corticosteroids prior to cell harvesting. Infecting epithelial cultures with RSV 6 days prior to wounding slowed healing in all groups (p<0.001). Prior inhaled steroids also improved wound healing following RSV infection (P<0.001). Conclusion: Nasal epithelium from atopic adults heal wounds more slowly. Inhaled corticosteroids taken in vivo prior to harvest influence their responses in vitro, improving wound healing.