Guinea pig blood was found to contain an average of 106 ± 21 ng/ml of histamine. Of this total, approximately 85-90% was of platelet origin and the rest from basophils. Basophils contain about 0.72 pg of histamine/cell. Concanavalin A (1-5 μg/ml) induced the release of approximately 65% of the basophilic histamine. When basophils were isolated from animals sensitized to ovalbumin or keyhole limpet hemocyanin, addition of the appropriate antigen induced histamine release at concentrations of 0.01 μg/ml or lower. Individual animals were studied over time by repetitive bleeding. The circulating basophils remained sensitized for at least 17 weeks postsensitization. However, release did not occur if animals had been sensitized less than 7 days earlier. This assay facilitates the investigation of basophil sensitization since animals can be studied on several occasions following immunization. The mechanisms, timing and role of basophil sensitization in various types of immune and hypersensitivity reactions can now be evaluated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy