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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 745325, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/745325
Review Article

Mucin Production and Mucous Cell Metaplasia in Otitis Media

1Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, University of Minnesota, 2001 6th Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
2Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, University of Copenhagen, 2900 Copenhagen, Denmark
3Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki 889-1692, Japan
4Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Xi’An Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710004, Shaanxi, China
5Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Nagoya City University, Nagoya 467-8601, Japan
6Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350001, China
7Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Wisconsin Medical College, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA

Received 23 December 2011; Accepted 21 March 2012

Academic Editor: Jeffrey P. Pearson

Copyright © 2012 Jizhen Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Otitis media (OM) with mucoid effusion, characterized by mucous cell metaplasia/hyperplasia in the middle ear cleft and thick fluid accumulation in the middle ear cavity, is a subtype of OM which frequently leads to chronic OM in young children. Multiple factors are involved in the developmental process of OM with mucoid effusion, especially disorders of mucin production resulting from middle ear bacterial infection and Eustachian tube dysfunction. In this review, we will focus on several aspects of this disorder by analyzing the cellular and molecular events such as mucin production and mucous cell differentiation in the middle ear mucosa with OM. In addition, infectious agents, mucin production triggers, and relevant signaling pathways will be discussed.