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J Immunol. 1993 Apr 15;150(8 Pt 1):3442-8.

RANTES is a chemotactic and activating factor for human eosinophils.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77555-0762.


RANTES is a member of the 8-kDa cytokine family that has been shown to possess chemotactic activity for monocytes and CD4 T cells. In this study, we investigated whether RANTES could affect eosinophil chemotaxis and function. Peripheral blood eosinophils from blood donors were isolated on Percoll gradients to > 98% purity and then used for chemotaxis, flow cytometry, eosinophil cationic protein release assay, and survival assay. We found that RANTES is chemotactic for eosinophils at 10(-9) to 10(-8) M concentrations. RANTES elicited 65% of the chemotactic response to 10(-7) M platelet-activating factor in all experiments. The mechanism of chemotaxis was investigated by studying the expression of adhesion molecules on eosinophils by flow cytometry. We found that RANTES up-regulated the expression of CD11b/CD18 on eosinophils in a dose-dependent manner. In another set of experiments, purified eosinophils incubated with various concentrations of RANTES released eosinophil cationic protein as measured by a RIA. We also investigated the effect of RANTES on eosinophil density. Leukocytes were incubated in the presence or absence of RANTES, and the distribution of eosinophils on discontinuous Percoll gradients was then examined. We found that eosinophils became hypodense (< 1.085) when incubated in RANTES. However, unlike IL-3, RANTES did not affect the survival of eosinophils in a 4-day culture system. Thus, we established that RANTES is a chemotactic and activating factor for eosinophils.

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