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Background and Objectives:The purpose of our study was to examine the expresion of 15-lipoxygenase (15-LO) in human nasal mucosa and to investigate the change of expresion of 15-LO and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) as a function of muco-ciliary and squamous diferentiation. Materials and Method:Human inferior turbinates were used and imunohistochemistry method was performed for 14 days and the cells were divided as retinoic acid (RA)-suficient and RA-deficient group. Western blot analysis for 15-LO and COX-2 expression was performed on each group on 0, 7, and 14 days. Results:15-LO expression of mucociliated epithelium was noted in ciliated cells and basal cels, but was not found in goblet cells and secretory acini. In squa-mous epithelium, the expression of 15-LO was weaker than that in the mucociliated epithelium, but the expression of COX-2 than in RA-deficient culture and this expresion was time-dependent. COX-2 expression was almost same level in RA-deficient culture, but its expression was significantly higher in RA-suficient culture on 7 and 14 days than on zero day. Conclusion:15-LO and COX-2 may be related to differentiation and development of nasal epithelial cels. However, it is unclear whether this relationship is direct or indirect efect of 15-LO and COX-2. This question remains to be solved. (Korean J Otolaryngol 2003 ;46 :649-53)


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Nasal mucosa· 15-Lipoxygenase, arachidonate· Synthase, prostaglandin· Cell differentiation.