Introduction: Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are essential in the progression of allergic rhinitis (AR). The purpose of this research was to examine the role of circRNA ADP-ribosylation factor 3 (circARF3) in the pathogenesis of AR. Methods: To generate an animal model of AR, mice were treated with house dust mite (HDM), and mice nasal epithelial cells (NEpCs) were treated with IL-4/IL-13 to imitate the inflammatory damage of AR in vitro. Sanger sequencing, qRT-PCR, and RNAse R digestion assays all validated the circularization structure of circARF3. The levels of circARF3, miR-205-5p, and sirtuin 5 (SIRT5) were determined by qRT-PCR or Western blotting. Luciferase reporter, RNA immunoprecipitation, and pull-down experiments were used to investigate the regulatory network. Flow cytometry was used to investigate the rate of cell apoptosis, and Western blotting was used to determine the levels of apoptotic-related proteins (cleaved caspase 3, cleaved polyadenosine-diphosphate-ribose polymerase) and HMGB1, TLR4, and MyD88. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to assess the inflammatory response. Hematoxylin-eosin staining and TUNEL were used to detect the histology of injury and apoptosis of nasal mucosa tissues. Results: CircARF3 and SIRT5 levels were reduced in HDM-treated animals and IL-4/IL-13-treated NEpCs, while miR-205-5p expression was increased. CircARF3 was generated by back-splicing exons 3–5 with a stable circular shape. CircARF3 overexpression mitigated IL-4/IL-13-induced apoptosis in NEpCs by inhibiting miR-205-5p. SIRT5 upregulation attenuated IL-4/IL-13-induced inflammatory injury in NEpCs, and SIRT5 knockdown induced opposite effects. miR-205-5p silencing reversed the effects of SIRT5 knockdown on IL-4/IL-13-induced inflammatory injury. Furthermore, circARF3 overexpression alleviated histological abnormalities, apoptosis, inflammatory response, and HMGB1/TLR4 signaling activation in HDM-treated animals. Conclusion: CircARF3 inhibited cell apoptosis and inflammation via the miR-205-5p/SIRT5 axis in IL-4/IL-13-treated NEpCs and HDM-treated mice.

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