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Nat Immunol. 2009 Jul;10(7):713-20. doi: 10.1038/ni.1738. Epub 2009 May 24.

Basophils function as antigen-presenting cells for an allergen-induced T helper type 2 response.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


T helper type 2 (T(H)2)-mediated immune responses are induced after infection with multicellular parasites and can be triggered by a variety of allergens. The mechanisms of induction and the antigen-presenting cells involved in the activation of T(H)2 responses remain poorly defined, and the innate immune sensing pathways activated by parasites and allergens are largely unknown. Basophils are required for the in vivo induction of T(H)2 responses by protease allergens. Here we show that basophils also function as antigen-presenting cells. We show that although dendritic cells were dispensable for allergen-induced activation of T(H)2 responses in vitro and in vivo, antigen presentation by basophils was necessary and sufficient for this. Thus, basophils function as antigen-presenting cells for T(H)2 differentiation in response to protease allergens.

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