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Eur J Clin Invest. 2001 Oct;31(10):894-901.

Quantitative, phenotypic, and functional evaluation of basophils in myelodysplastic syndromes.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine I, Division of Hematology and Hemostaseology, The University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.



The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of clonal haematological disorders characterized by cytopenia(s), reduced differentiation-capacity of myeloid cells, and impaired leukocyte function. However, little is known so far about basophil granulocytes in MDS.


We have compared the numbers, phenotype and function of basophils in MDS patients with those in healthy subjects. A total numer of 23 patients with MDS (refractory anaemia, n = 8; refractory anaemia with ringsideroblasts, n = 7; refractory anaemia with excess of blasts/refractory anaemia with excess of blasts in transformation, n = 8) and 20 healthy donors were included.


The numbers of blood basophils in MDS patients (34.6 +/- 62.9 microL-1) was lower compared to healthy controls (58.6 +/- 64.9 microL-1). Correspondingly, whole blood histamine levels were lower in MDS patients (MDS 34.1 +/- 29.1 ng mL-1 vs. normal donors 72.0 +/- 36.9 ng mL-1). Like "normal" basophils, basophils in MDS expressed interleukin-3 receptor alpha (CD123), E-NPP3 (CD203c), CR1 (CD35), CR3 (CD11b), CR4 (CD11c), membrane co-factor protein (CD46), decay-accelerating factor (CD55) and membrane attack complex inhibitory factor (CD59), as well as receptors for C3a, C5a (CD88), and IgE. Recombinant human (rh) C5a and anti-IgE induced significant release of histamine from basophils in both groups of donors without significant differences between MDS and healthy controls.


The absolute numbers of basophils in MDS patients are lower than in normal donors. However, basophils in MDS do not differ from their "normal counterparts" in terms of complement receptor expression, IgE-receptor expression, or functional responses to respective ligands.

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