The release of basogranulin in response to IgE-dependent and IgE-independent stimuli: validity of basogranulin measurement as an indicator of basophil activation

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003 Jul;112(1):102-8. doi: 10.1067/mai.2003.1511.


Background: Basogranulin, the novel basophil granule protein recognized by the monoclonal antibody BB1, can be released by stimulation with anti-IgE antibody or calcium ionophore. However, the kinetics and regulation of its secretion are unknown.

Objective: We quantified basogranulin and histamine release in response to a range of stimuli to assess whether basogranulin secretion is a reliable marker of basophil activation.

Methods: Isolated peripheral blood basophils were stimulated with anti-IgE antibody, calcium ionophore, N -formyl-Met-Leu-Phe, and complement C5a. The released basogranulin and histamine were quantified by dot blotting with BB1 and a fluorometric method, respectively. Basogranulin localization was confirmed by flow cytometry.

Results: Both basogranulin and histamine displayed a bell-shaped response curve when basophils were challenged with anti-IgE. Half-maximal release occurred within 30 seconds. Basogranulin levels were maximal by 15 minutes, whereas those for histamine continued increasing to 30 minutes. Wortmannin, a PI3-K inhibitor, suppressed the release of both mediators. Basophils from donors with the "nonreleaser" phenotype secreted neither mediator in response to anti-IgE. Non-IgE-dependent stimuli released both mediators in parallel in a concentration-dependent manner. The correlation between the relative amounts of each mediator released was highly significant (r =.901, P <.0001, n = 87). Flow cytometry revealed that some of the secreted basogranulin adhered to the cell surface.

Conclusions: Basogranulin is secreted along with histamine in response to both FcepsilonR I-related and unrelated stimuli. It is therefore a valid marker of basophil activation and could provide the basis for an immunoassay that distinguishes between basophil and mast cell activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / pharmacology
  • Basophils / chemistry
  • Basophils / physiology*
  • Blood Proteins / analysis
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Histamine Release
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / physiology*
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine / pharmacology
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / physiology
  • Receptors, IgE / physiology


  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Blood Proteins
  • Receptors, IgE
  • anti-IgE antibodies
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases