Application of monoclonal antibodies against major basic protein (BMK-13) and eosinophil cationic protein (EG1 and EG2) for quantifying eosinophils in bronchial biopsies from atopic asthma

Clin Exp Allergy. 1992 Feb;22(2):265-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.1992.tb03082.x.


A monoclonal antibody prepared against the eosinophil major basis protein (MBP) was compared with the anti-eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) antibodies (EG1 and EG2) in immunostaining of bronchial biopsies from atopic asthma and controls. Anti-MBP (designated BMK-13) did not cross-react with other eosinophil basic proteins (i.e. ECP, eosinophil peroxidase [EPO] or eosinophil-derived neurotoxin [EDN]) and stained more than 98% of peripheral blood eosinophils irrespective of their degree of activation. EG2 stained 15% of resting and 75% of activated eosinophils; EG1 recognized 74% and 78% of resting and activated cells, respectively. The numbers of BMK-13, EG1 or EG2-positive staining cells in bronchial biopsies from asthma were significantly greater than atopic non-asthmatics (P less than 0.02, P less than 0.01 and P less than 0.05, respectively) and normal non-atopic controls (P less than 0.001). For each of the various groups studied, the rank order for the number of eosinophils stained was BMK-13 greater than EG1 greater than EG2. BMK-13 stained significantly more cells from bronchial biopsies of atopic asthma and atopic non asthma when compared to EG2 (P less than 0.001 and P less than 0.05, respectively). Since only a proportion of BMK-13+ cells were EG2+, these results suggest that not all tissue eosinophils are actively secreting. Thus, BMK-13 can serve as a useful pan-eosinophil marker in tissue sections since it appears to stain most eosinophils.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Asthma / pathology*
  • Biopsy
  • Blood Proteins / immunology*
  • Bronchi / pathology*
  • Eosinophil Granule Proteins
  • Eosinophils / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / complications*
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Ribonucleases*
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Blood Proteins
  • Eosinophil Granule Proteins
  • Ribonucleases