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Immunity. 2010 Sep 24;33(3):364-74. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2010.08.011.

Basophils orchestrate chronic allergic dermatitis and protective immunity against helminths.

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Institute for Immunology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.


Basophils are associated with T helper 2 (Th2) cell-polarized immune responses such as allergic disorders or helminth infections. To directly address the role of basophils for type 2 immunity, we generated transgenic mice with constitutive and selective deletion of basophils. Differentiation and accumulation of Th2 cells, induction of eosinophilia, and increase in serum IgE or IgG1 induced by allergens or by infection with the helminth Nippostrongylus brasiliensis appeared to be basophil independent. Further, basophils were not required for passive IgE- or IgG1-mediated systemic anaphylaxis. However, basophils were essential for IgE-meditated chronic allergic dermatitis and for protection against secondary infection with N. brasiliensis. These results demonstrate that basophils play an important role for protective immunity against helminths and orchestrate chronic allergic inflammation, whereas primary Th2 cell responses can operate efficiently in the absence of this cell type.

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