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Aetiological relationships of nasal mucus cyclic nucleotides in patients with taste and smell dysfunction
  1. Robert I Henkin,
  2. Irina Velicu
  1. Center for Molecular Nutrition and Sensory Disorders, the Taste and Smell Clinic, Washington, DC, USA
  1. Correspondence to Robert I Henkin, Center for Molecular Nutrition and Sensory Disorders, 5125 MacArthur Boulevard, NW, #20, Washington, DC 20016, USA; doc{at}


Aims The authors previously demonstrated that nasal mucus cyclic adenosine 3′, 5′-monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic 3′, 5′-guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) were lower in patients with smell and taste dysfunction than in normal individuals. To learn more about these differences this study related levels of nasal mucus cAMP and cGMP in patients with smell and taste dysfunction to the aetiology of their sensory loss and compared these results with those in normal individuals.

Methods Nasal mucus cAMP and cGMP levels in patients with smell loss (hyposmia) were calculated after assembling data into aetiological groups. Levels were compared with each clinical group, with the entire patient group and with normal individuals. Data were obtained from initial values among patients with hyposmia who participated in a clinical trial of treatment with the phosphodiesterase inhibitor theophylline.

Results Nasal mucus cyclic nucleotides in the entire patient group before treatment were below normal as previously demonstrated. Stratification by aetiology revealed differences not previously apparent. In some groups levels of cAMP and cGMP were below normal, some were similar to normal and some were above the normal mean.

Conclusions As nasal mucus cyclic nucleotides relate to the growth and development of olfactory epithelial cells these results indicate there are differential alterations in nasal mucus cAMP and cGMP related to the aetiology of smell and taste dysfunction.

  • Biochemistry
  • cell biology
  • chemical pathology
  • cyclic nucleotides
  • enzymes
  • molecular pathology
  • nasal mucus
  • sensory function
  • smell
  • taste

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Studies were approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.