Neurology of allergic inflammation and rhinitis.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Afferent nerves, derived from the trigeminal ganglion, and postganglionic autonomic nerves, derived from sympathetic and parasympathetic ganglia expressing many different neurotransmitters, innervate the nose. Reflexes that serve to optimize the air-conditioning function of the nose by altering sinus blood flow, or serve to protect the nasal mucosal surface by mucus secretion, vasodilatation, and sneezing, can be initiated by a variety of stimuli, including allergen, cold air, and chemical irritation. Activation of nasal afferent nerves can also have profound effects on respiration, heart rate, blood pressure, and airway caliber (the diving response). Dysregulation of the nerves in the nose plays an integral role in the pathogenesis of allergic rhinitis. Axon reflexes can precipitate inflammatory responses in the nose, resulting in plasma extravasation and inflammatory cell recruitment, while allergic inflammation can produce neuronal hyper-responsiveness. Targeting the neuronal dysregulation in the nose may be beneficial in treating upper airway disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-215
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent allergy and asthma reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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