Sensitivity of basophils to histamine releasing factor(s) of various origin: Dependency on allergic phenotype of the donor and surface-bound IgE

Rafeul Alam, Patricia A. Forsythe, John A. Rankin, Michael C. Boyars, Michael A. Lett-Brown, J. Andrew Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Certain species of histamine-releasing factor (HRF) have been demonstrated to distinguish a select group of allergic patients from healthy subjects. An IgE-dependent mechanism of action has been suggested. The donor and IgE dependency of HRF produced by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) has not been clearly demonstrated. In this study, we have compared the response of basophils from normal subjects versus allergic patients with and without asthma. In addition, we have addressed the IgE dependency of HRF recovered from cultures of PBMCs, T cells, B cells, macrophages, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. We have demonstrated that basophils from allergic as well as normal subjects respond to PBMC-HRF. The response of basophils from allergic patients with asthma is significantly increased. This heightened response to HRF does not correlate with the severity of disease as assessed by baseline spirometry, medication, and skin test scores. Stripping of the membrane-bound IgE by incubating basophils with lactic acid causes a significant loss of sensitivity to HRF generated by PBMCs, T cells, B cells, and macrophages, as well as to HRF recovered from bronchoalveolar fluid. The loss of response can be restored by sera from patients with asthma but not from normal subjects or by myeloma IgE. In addition, poorly responsive basophils from normal subjects can be rendered sensitive by incubating with sera from patients with asthma. The capacity of a given serum from a patient with asthma to restore the response to HRF is not correlated with the total concentration of IgE in the serum. Our results suggest that the removal of surface IgE from basophils by lactic acid treatment causes a significant loss of sensitivity of the cells to PBMC-derived HRF, and that sera from patients with asthma contain a substance (IgE+? that can) increase the sensitivity of basophils to HRF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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