Author(s): Sullivan BM, Locksley RM
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Abstract The role of basophils, the rarest of blood granulocytes, in host immunity has been a mystery. Long considered the poor relative of mast cells, basophils have received much recent attention because of the availability of new reagents and models that reveal unique properties of these cells. Basophils are known to have distinct roles in allergic hypersensitivity reactions and in the immune response to intestinal helminthes. In this review, we highlight these advances and summarize our current understanding of the repertoire of functions attributed to these cells. Despite these recent insights, we are likely only beginning to gain a full understanding of how and where these cells lend effector functions to vertebrate immunity. Advances are likely to come only with the development of specific reagents that enable the finer study of basophil lineage and function. Although many fundamental aspects of basophil biology remain unanswered, the prospects remain bright for unmasking new contributions by these unusual cells.
This article was published in Immunity
and referenced in Journal of Industrial Pollution Control