How do basophils contribute to Th2 cell differentiation and allergic responses?

Hajime Karasuyama, Kensuke Miyake, Soichiro Yoshikawa, Yohei Kawano, Yoshinori Yamanishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Basophils and mast cells share some features, including basophilic granules in the cytoplasm, cell surface expression of the high-affinity IgE receptor and release of chemical mediators such as histamine. Because of this similarity and their minority status, basophils had often been erroneously considered as minor relatives or blood-circulating precursors of tissue-resident mast cells, and therefore long been neglected or underestimated in immunological studies. Taking advantage of newly developed tools, such as basophil-depleting antibodies and engineered mice deficient for only basophils, recent studies have identified previously unappreciated roles for basophils, distinct from those played by mast cells, in allergic responses, protective immunity against parasitic infections and regulation of other immune cells. In this review, we focus on two topics that we presented and discussed in the 46th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Immunology held in Sendai in December 2017. The first topic is the function of basophils as antigen-presenting cells for driving Th2 cell differentiation. We demonstrated that basophils produce few or no MHC class II (MHC-II) proteins by themselves although they can acquire peptide-MHC-II complexes from dendritic cells through trogocytosis, and present them and provide IL-4 to naive CD4 T cells, promoting Th2 cell differentiation. The second topic is the basophil-specific effector molecules involved in allergic responses. Among mouse mast cell proteases (mMCPs), mMCP-8 and mMCP-11 are expressed almost exclusively by basophils. Analyses in vitro and in vivo revealed that both proteases can induce leukocyte migration through distinct mechanisms, contributing to the development of basophil-dependent allergic inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-396
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 30 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Allergic inflammation
  • Antigen-presenting cell
  • IL-4
  • MHC class II
  • Protease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'How do basophils contribute to Th2 cell differentiation and allergic responses?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this