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Cytometry. 1999 Mar 1;35(3):249-59.

Novel technique for the direct flow cytofluorometric analysis of human basophils in unseparated blood and bone marrow, and the characterization of phenotype and peroxidase of human basophils.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Niigata University School of Medicine, Niigata City, Japan.



No technique has been reported to analyze directly the antigen expression on basophil leukocytes when using a flow cytometer; therefore, the exact phenotype of human basophils and the character of the peroxidase in basophils are not well understood.


Human blood basophils were purified by using an antibody against high-affinity Fc epsilon receptor (hFcepsilonR) and a MACS magnetic cell sorting system and then cytochemically stained. The phenotype and peroxidase of the human basophils were flow cytofluorometrically analyzed directly in unseparated blood and bone marrow samples as hFcepsilonR+/MBP+ (major basic protein)/Hist+ (histamine) light-density cells distributed in the high sidescatter area of lymphocytes on light scattergrams.


The peroxidase granules of human basophils were stained by an anti-eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) antibody. The human blood basophils had common granulocyte markers plus CD25, i.e., they were CD11a/ CD11b/CD11c/CD25/CD38/CD13/CD33/hFcepsi lonR/MBP/Hist/ EPO positive, CD71 dim positive, CD14/CD15 partially positive, and CD2/CD3/CD7/CD122/CD16/CD56/CD57/ CD10/CD19/CD20/CD22/HLA-DR/MPO (myeloperoxidase)/CD23 negative. Further examination was done to analyze the expression of colony-stimulating factor receptors on three lineages of granulocytes, i.e., basophils, eosinophils, and neutrophils. The neutrophils were CD114 (G-CSFR)/CD116 (GM-CSFR)/CD124 [interleukin (IL)-4R]/CD126 (IL-6R) positive and CD123 (IL-3R)/CD125 (IL-5R) negative. In contrast, the eosinophils and basophils were CD116/CD123/CD125/CD126 positive and CD114/CD124 negative.


This novel technique for directly characterizing human basophil leukocytes with flow cytometry may be a convenient way to screen the expression of surface antigens and the cytoplasmic expression of CD antigens and other proteins in human blood basophils and to analyze alterations of the character of basophils by cytokines and other biological substances in vivo and in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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