Basophils

Definition

Basophils are circulating granular leukocytes that are characterized by a relatively pale-staining, lobate nucleus and cytoplasm containing coarse dark-staining granules of variable size and stainable by basic dyes. Basophils are important in controlling multicellular parasite infections, but can also be involved in allergy.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is characterized by esophageal eosinophilia, but the underlying mechanisms promoting eosinophil accumulation remain unclear. David Artis and his colleagues describe a new mouse model of EoE-like disease. The development of EoE-like disease is dependent on thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and basophils, whereas inhibition of TSLP or depletion of basophils attenuates established disease. Moreover, individuals with EoE have increased TSLP expression and basophils in the esophagus, suggesting that the TSLP-basophil axis can be targeted in patients with EoE.

    • Mario Noti
    • , Elia D Tait Wojno
    • , Brian S Kim
    • , Mark C Siracusa
    • , Paul R Giacomin
    • , Meera G Nair
    • , Alain J Benitez
    • , Kathryn R Ruymann
    • , Amanda B Muir
    • , David A Hill
    • , Kudakwashe R Chikwava
    • , Amin E Moghaddam
    • , Quentin J Sattentau
    • , Aneesh Alex
    • , Chao Zhou
    • , Jennifer H Yearley
    • , Paul Menard-Katcher
    • , Masato Kubo
    • , Kazushige Obata-Ninomiya
    • , Hajime Karasuyama
    • , Michael R Comeau
    • , Terri Brown-Whitehorn
    • , Rene de Waal Malefyt
    • , Patrick M Sleiman
    • , Hakon Hakonarson
    • , Antonella Cianferoni
    • , Gary W Falk
    • , Mei-Lun Wang
    • , Jonathan M Spergel
    •  & David Artis
    Nature Medicine 19, 1005–1013
  • Research |

    The contribution of basophils to allergic and helminth immunity remains unclear. Locksley and colleagues use reporter strains and two-photon microscopy to demonstrate that basophils do not mediate T helper type 2 priming in vivo.

    • Brandon M Sullivan
    • , Hong-Erh Liang
    • , Jennifer K Bando
    • , Davina Wu
    • , Laurence E Cheng
    • , James K McKerrow
    • , Christopher D C Allen
    •  & Richard M Locksley
    Nature Immunology 12, 527–535
  • Research |

    Basophils initiate T helper type 2 responses after exposure to allergens and IgE immune complexes. Juan Rivera and his colleagues find that elevated amounts of IgE in Lyn−/− mice drive basophil activation, secretion of T helper type 2 cytokines and production of autoantibodies, leading to a lupus-like phenotype in mice and to glomerulonephritis. Depletion of basophils or deficiencies in IgE or interleukin-4 are sufficient to reduce autoantibody production and prevent kidney damage. Data from subjects with SLE suggest that increased IgE levels and activated basophils may contribute to disease.

    • Nicolas Charles
    • , Donna Hardwick
    • , Eric Daugas
    • , Gabor G Illei
    •  & Juan Rivera
    Nature Medicine 16, 701–707
  • Research | | open

    Both dendritic cells and basophils have been shown to influence T helper 2 cell induction, however the relative importance of their roles remains unclear. Otsuka et al. find that basophils present hapten and peptide antigens to T cells, but are unable to present protein antigens in the absence of dendritic cells.

    • Atsushi Otsuka
    • , Saeko Nakajima
    • , Masato Kubo
    • , Gyohei Egawa
    • , Tetsuya Honda
    • , Akihiko Kitoh
    • , Takashi Nomura
    • , Sho Hanakawa
    • , Catharina Sagita Moniaga
    • , Bongju Kim
    • , Satoshi Matsuoka
    • , Takeshi Watanabe
    • , Yoshiki Miyachi
    •  & Kenji Kabashima

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