. Allergopedia

Dictionary of Allergies .. Basophil

A white blood cell (leucocyte) containing granules that stain with basic dyes. Its nucleus is lobed. Basophils comprise 0,5% of all leucocytes in normal blood. Their equivalent in the tissues  are the mast cells. Basophils contain large granules. In the granules there are numerous mediators or their mediator precursors: histamine, leucotrienes, prostaglandines, etc. The presence of basophil leukocytes and mast cells in nasal secretion and scrapings have also been reported as being indicative of allergic rhinitis [1].

However, others have shown that these cells are not uniformly found in patients with this disorder. The basophils are important in the late nasal response as they produce histamine but not PGd2. Consistent with this, the late response is accompanied by infiltration of the challenge site with inflammatory cells. Basophils have not been identified in bronchial disease or in any situation associated with hyperresponsiveness, although they are probably present there as they are in most other organs [2].

Background Positive skin prick tests (SPT) for food allergens and specific IgE (sIgE) in serum indicate sensitization but do not enable distinction between sensitized but tolerant and clinically allergic patients. Neither conventional tests nor BATs are sensitive and specific enough to predict food allergy accurately. However, BATs may helpfully complete conventional tests, especially SPT, allowing improved discrimination between allergic and non-allergic individuals [3].

1. Kay, A.B., et al: Cellular Mechanisms in: The Role of inflammatory Process in Airway Hyperresponsiveness, ed. by S.T. Holgate. Blackwells P., Oxford, 1989.

2. Wihl, J.-A., et al: Blind study of basophilic cells in nasal smears from patients with grass pollen hay fever. Eur. J. Respir. Dis. 1983; 64 (Suppl. 128):383.

3. Ocmant A, Mulier S, Hanssens L, Goldman M, Casimir G, Mascart F, Schandené L. Basophil activation tests for the diagnosis of food allergy in children. Clin Exp Allergy. 2009 Jun 22.

Γκέλης Ν.Δ. - Λεξικό Αλλεργίας - Εκδόσεις ΒΕΛΛΕΡOΦΟΝΤΗΣ - Κόρινθος 2013

Gelis Ν.D. - Dictionary of Allergies - VELLEROFONTIS Publications - Corinth 2013