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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Gene expression demonstrates an immunological capacity of the human endolymphatic sac

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OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: The purpose of the present study is to explore, demonstrate, and describe the expression of genes related to the innate immune system in the human endolymphatic sac. It is hypothesized that the endolymphatic sac has a significant immunological function in the human inner ear.

STUDY DESIGN: DNA microarrays and immunohistochemistry were used for analyses of fresh human endolymphatic-sac tissue samples.

METHODS: Twelve tissue samples from the human endolymphatic sac were obtained during translabyrinthine surgery for vestibular schwannoma. Microarray technology was used to investigate tissue sample gene expression using adjacent dura mater as control. The expression of genes specific for the innate immune system was determined and results for selected key molecules verified by immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: A comprehensive overview of expressed genes of the innate immune system was obtained. Multiple key elements of both the cellular and humoral innate immune system were expressed, including Toll-like receptors 4 and 7, as well as beta-defensin and lactoferrin.

CONCLUSIONS: The present data provides the first direct evidence of an immunological capacity of the human endolymphatic sac. At the molecular level, the endolymphatic sac is capable of antigen recognition and processing for initiation of an immune response. In addition, potent molecules directly toxic to invading pathogens are expressed by the sac epithelium. This evidence strongly supports the endolymphatic sac as a significant immunological entity of the inner ear.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: N/A.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Laryngoscope
Volume125
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)E269-75
ISSN0023-852X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

    Research areas

  • Adult, Aged, Biomarkers, Tumor, DNA, Neoplasm, Ear Neoplasms, Endolymphatic Sac, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Humans, Immunity, Innate, Immunohistochemistry, Middle Aged, Neurilemmoma, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis

ID: 45997134