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The Taste and Smell Clinic

December 2019

The Role of IL-10 in Hyposmia

IL-10 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine present in most tissues in the body. It plays an important role as an anti-inflammatory substance in these tissues.

We measured IL-10 in nasal mucus in normal subjects and compared these results with those in patients with hyposmia.

IL-10 in control subjects was 0.069 pg/ml whereas it is 0.76 pg/ml in hyposmic patients, a level over 10 times higher.

The significance of this elevation is unclear since this elevation was present in patients with different pathological entities which initiated hyposmia.

Levels of IL-10 in nasal mucus in patients with allergic rhinitis might be expected to be elevated because of their associated nasal inflammation and it was. However, it was also elevated in patients with congenital hyposmia in whom no indication of clinical nasal inflammation related to their smell loss is present.

While the role of IL-10 in hyposmia is unclear its elevation over that of normal subjects is significant and, at present, unexplained.