The role of basophils in allergy

Published on March 29, 2020   49 min

Other Talks in the Series: Allergy - From Basics to Clinic

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Hello. My name is Franco Falcone. Today, I would like to speak about "The Role of Basophils in Allergy". This is a cell type which despite having been discovered almost 140 years ago, has since intrigued scientists. It was only after the discovery that basophils are the source of histamine in blood and the discovery of immunoglobulin E some 50 years ago that we began to understand their function. This lecture will cover the basic biological properties of basophils and their roles in allergy.
So this is the outline of my talk. I'm going to talk about the basophil development and the morphology. I'm then going to talk briefly about how the number of basophils are counted in peripheral blood. I will then move on to talk about the surface of basophils. I will describe the cytokine receptors, the growth factor receptors, the chemokine receptors, and the selectins and integrins on their surface. I will then move on and describe basophil activation mechanisms, starting with IgE-dependent activation mechanisms, then I will move on to alternative mechanisms. I will talk about mediators and how these mediators are measured. I will mention basophil activation tests. Finally, I will put all of this together and I will discuss the role of basophils in allergy. Mainly I will be talking about late phase reaction. I will close the presentation with some differences between mouse and human basophils.
Basophils were discovered in 1879 by Paul Ehrlich. One year earlier, Ehrlich had described mast cells in connective tissues. Basophils and mast cells both show similar staining patterns of cytoplasmic granules when stained with basophilic dyes. Despite having been discovered such a long time ago, it took almost a 100 years before the secrets behind the cell type started becoming unraveled. Basophils are widespread in the animal kingdom.