Recombinant IL-3 induces histamine release from human basophils

S. M. MacDonald, R. P. Schleimer, A. Kagey-Sobotka, S. Gillis, L. M. Lichtenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Human rIL-3 induces histamine release from some human basophils, with cells from atopics responding to a greater extent than non-atopic donors. The dose response curves were highly variable. IL-3 was active on purified basophils and the release process was slower and required more calcium than anti-IgE. Removal of surface IgE from basophils rendered them unresponsive to IL-3. The response could be restored by passive sensitization of basophils with IgE+, IgE known to bind histamine-releasing factors, and not IgE-, IgE unreactive with histamine-releasing factors. Thus, IL-3 uncovers IgE heterogeneity. IL-3 does not, however, directly interact with IgE+. Rather, passive sensitization with IgE+ or stimulation of basophils with low concentrations of several secretagogues renders the cells sensitive to IL-3. IL-3 may well play a pro-inflammatory role by potentiating the effects of IGE+ or various secretagogues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3527-3532
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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