Research Article: Protective barrier properties of Rhinosectan® spray (containing xyloglucan) on an organotypic 3D airway tissue model (MucilAir): results of an in vitro study

Date Published: August 10, 2017

Publisher: BioMed Central

Author(s): Barbara De Servi, Francesco Ranzini, Núria Piqué.


To evaluate barrier protective properties of Rhinosectan® spray, a medical device containing xyloglucan, on nasal epithelial cells (MucilAir).

MucilAir-Nasal, a three-dimensional organotypic (with different cell types) airway tissue model, was treated with the medical device Rhinosectan® (30 µL) or with controls (Rhinocort—budesonide—or saline solution). The protective barrier effects of Rhinosectan® were evaluated by: TEER (trans-epithelial electrical resistance) (preservation of tight junctions), Lucifer Yellow assay (preservation of paracellular flux) and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy (localization of tight junction proteins).

Exposure of MucilAir with Rhinosectan® protected cell tight junctions (increases in TEER of 13.1% vs −6.3% with saline solution after 1 h of exposure), and preserved the paracellular flux, even after exposure with pro-inflammatory compounds (TNF-α and LPS from Pseudomonas aeruginosa 10). Results of confocal immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated that, after treatment with the pro-inflammatory mixture, Rhinosectan® produced a slight relocation of zona occludens-1 in the cytosol compartment (while Rhinocort induced expression of zona-occludens-1), maintaining the localization of occludin (similarly to negative control).

Results of our study indicates that Rhinosectan® creates a protective physical barrier on nasal epithelial cells in vitro, allowing the avoidance of allergens and triggering factors, thus confirming the utility of this medical device in the management of nasal respiratory diseases, as rhinitis or rhinosinusitis.

Partial Text

Nasal obstruction is one of the most common reasons by which patients visit their primary care providers [1]. Often described by patients as nasal congestion or the inability to adequately breathe out of one or both nostrils during the day and/or night, nasal obstruction commonly interferes with a patient’s ability to eat, sleep, and function, thereby significantly impacting quality of life [1]. The most common causes of nasal obstruction are rhinitis (allergic and non-allergic), rhinosinusitis, drug-induced nasal obstruction and mechanical/structural abnormalities [1].

Currently, the role of the mucosal barrier integrity is gaining increasing interest among scientists, as a primary prevention of different diseases, as intestinal or respiratory disorders [9, 28].

In conclusion, in the present study, we have demonstrated that Rhinosectan® creates a protective physical barrier on nasal epithelial cells in vitro, which avoids the contact of mucosal cells with pro-inflammatory compounds. Therefore, these results confirm the utility of Rhinosectan® in the management of nasal respiratory diseases.




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