Background: Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are a novel class of nonvoltage gated membrane cation channels that can be activated by mechanical stimulation and temperature change. Recently, TRP vanilloid type 4 (TRPV4) has been implicated in detecting viscosity changes in fallopian tube epithelial cells and inducing a compensatory response in ciliary activity and, as such, represents a possible molecular trigger for modulating respiratory ciliary activity. Thus, the goal of this study was to establish the expression pattern of TRPV4 in human sinonasal mucosa and determine whether expression is altered in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Methods: Sinus mucosal biopsy specimens were obtained from patients with CRS, CRS with nasal polyps (NPs), and healthy controls. TRPV4 mRNA and protein expression were confirmed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunoblot analysis, respectively. TRPV4 gene expression was measured next using quantitative RT-PCR. Immunofluorescence was performed on sinus mucosal expiants and respiratory epithelial air-liquid interface cultures to localize cellular expression. Results: TRPV4 mRNA and protein were expressed in all samples. There was a statistically significant increase (p < 0.05) in TRPV4 gene expression in nonpolypoid CRS patients, but no difference in CRS with NP. Dual label immunofluorescence showed TRPV4 expression to be mutually exclusive of ciliated cells. Conclusion: Although TRPV4 represents an ideal molecular trigger for ciliary modulation, absent expression of the channel in ciliated cells precludes this function. However, altered expression of the channel in CRS and presumed expression of TRPV4 in secretory cells of the mucosa indicate a potential role in mucus homeostasis and CRS pathogenesis. Copyright © 2008, OceanSide Publications, Inc.