Regulation of Type 2 Immunity by Basophils

  • David VoehringerEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 785)


The immune response against helminths and allergens is generally characterized by high levels of IgE and increased numbers of Th2 cells, eosinophils, and basophils. Basophils represent a relatively rare population of effector cells and their in vivo functions are incompletely understood. Recent studies with basophil-depleting antibodies revealed that these cells might play an important role during the early and late stages of type 2 immune responses. To further characterize the relevance of basophils for protective immunity and orchestration of allergic inflammation, we generated constitutively basophil-deficient mice. We observed a normal Th2 response induced by helminth infections or immunization with alum/OVA or papain/OVA. However, basophils contributed to worm expulsion during secondary helminth infection and mediated an IgE-dependent inflammatory response of the skin. These results argue against a critical role of basophils as antigen-presenting cells for induction of Th2 polarization and highlight their effector cell potential during later stages of a type 2 immune response.


Helminths Allergy IgE Th2 cells 



This work was supported by an ERC starting grant (PAS_241506) from the European Union FP7.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Infection biologyUniversitätsklinikum Erlangen and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany

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