Systemic effects of allergen exposure on blood basophil IL-13 secretion and FcεRIβ

Sarbjit Saini, D. Candy Bloom, Anja Bieneman, Kavitha Vasagar, Alkis Togias, John Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Airway allergen challenge studies have shown the upregulation of cytokines in local airway tissues and distal effects on bone marrow precursors for eosinophils and basophils. We investigated whether local intranasal allergen challenge alters the phenotype of circulating basophils to a primed state. Ten subjects with allergic rhinitis were challenged with allergen by means of intranasal spray on 3 sequential days. Basophils were isolated from subjects before challenge and 3, 24, and 96 hours after the third allergen challenge. Basophils were compared before challenge and after the last allergen challenge for levels of FcεRIβ protein by means of Western blotting and for FcεRIβ mRNA expression by means of real-time PCR. Basophils were also compared with regard to spontaneous secretion of IL-4 and IL-13. Basophil FcεRIβ protein levels increased in 5 of 6 subjects after allergen challenge relative to before challenge. Likewise, basophil FcεRIβ mRNA levels increased a median of 2-fold after the last challenge relative to before challenge (P =. 007, n = 9). IL-13 protein was detected in supernatants of 7 of 9 subjects' basophil-enriched cultures after the last challenge compared with 3 of 9 basophil-enriched cultures before challenge (median, 6.2 vs 0 pg/mL; P =. 058). IL-4 was not detected in any culture supernatant. Intranasal allergen challenge transiently activates circulating basophils by increasing expression of the FcεRIβ subunit and spontaneous IL-13 secretion. Because FcεRIβ is an amplifier of FcεRI-mediated responses and IL-13 is proinflammatory, these findings support a primed basophil functional state and demonstrate a systemic effect of local allergen challenge that could contribute in exacerbating allergic reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)768-774
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • FcεRIβ
  • IL-13
  • IgE receptors
  • allergen challenge
  • basophils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Systemic effects of allergen exposure on blood basophil IL-13 secretion and FcεRIβ'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this