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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Feb 4;100(3):1174-9. Epub 2003 Jan 14.

Activation of human eosinophils through leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor 7.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy and Partners Asthma Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Eosinophils are implicated prominently in allergic diseases and the host response to parasitic infections. Eosinophils may be activated in vitro by diverse classes of agonists such as immunoglobulins, lipid mediators, and cytokines. The leukocyte Ig-like receptors (LIRs) comprise a family of inhibitory and activating cell-surface receptors. Inhibitory LIRs down-regulate cellular responses through cytoplasmic immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motifs. There are limited data on the action of the activating LIRs, which are thought to signal through the Fc receptor gamma chain, which contains an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif. We now demonstrate the expression of LIR1 (inhibitory), LIR2 (inhibitory), LIR3 (inhibitory), and LIR7 (activating) on eosinophils from 4, 4, 12, and 11, respectively, of 12 healthy donors. Cross-linking of LIR7 with plate-bound antibody elicited the dose- and time-dependent release of eosinophil-derived neurotoxin and leukotriene C(4). Eosinophils activated with antibodies to LIR7 embedded in gel-phase EliCell preparations showed leukotriene C(4) generation at the nuclear envelope and the release of IL-12 but not IL-4 by vesicular transport. Thus, LIR7 is an activating receptor for eosinophils that elicited the release of cytotoxic granule proteins, de novo lipid mediator generation, and cytokine release through vesicular transport.

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