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Blood. 2009 Mar 19;113(12):2816-25. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-05-154773. Epub 2008 Oct 21.

Basophil effector function and homeostasis during helminth infection.

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  • 1Institute for Immunology, University of Munich, Munich, Germany.


Basophils are effector cells of the innate immune system that are associated with allergic inflammation and infections with helminth parasites. However, their development and in vivo functions are largely unknown. Here, we characterize basophil development, turnover, tissue localization, and effector function during infection with the helminth Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. Our results demonstrate that under homeostatic conditions basophils have a lifespan of about 60 hours. N brasiliensis-induced basophilia is caused by increased de novo production of basophils in the bone marrow. Basophils were found near the marginal zone in the red pulp of the spleen, in the lamina propria of the small intestine, and in the lung parenchyma. Activated basophils promoted systemic eosinophilia, were associated with differentiation of alternatively activated macrophages in the lung, and contributed to efficient worm expulsion, demonstrating that basophils play a crucial role as effector cells in type 2 immune responses.

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