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Imbalance of Follicular Helper and Follicular Regulatory T Cells in Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps.

OBJECTIVE: Data regarding the imbalance in follicular helper T (Tfh) and follicular regulatory T (Tfr) cell responses in patients having chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) is so far limited. Thus, we aimed to assess the changes in circulating Tfh and Tfr in CRSwNP patients.

METHODS: This case-control study included 21 patients having CRSwNP and 20 age and sex-matched healthy blood donors as a control group. Lund-Mackay staging system was used for radiologic scoring of chronic rhinosinusitis. Two milliliters of peripheral blood samples were collected from all participants into EDTA-containing vacutainer tubes to assess the levels of Tfh and Tfr cells using flow cytometry.

RESULTS: Patients having CRSwNP did not show significant differences in the percentages of CD4+ T cells and total CD4+CXCR5+ T cells from healthy controls. Meanwhile, levels of both activated circulating Tfh and Tfr showed a marked rise in patients than controls. In addition, a positive correlation was observed between the levels of both activated Tfh and Tfr cells.

CONCLUSION: An imbalance in circulating Tfh/Tfr levels was detected in patients having CRSwNP. A significant rise in the levels of Tfh and Tfr was detected in patients proposing a possible role of this imbalance in disease pathogenesis.

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