Eosinophil as antigen-presenting cell: activation of T cell clones and T cell hybridoma by eosinophils after antigen processing

Eur J Immunol. 1992 Jul;22(7):1919-25. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830220736.


We have studied the role of murine eosinophils as antigen-presenting cells (APC). Eosinophils have several characteristics that support the hypothesis of its function as potential APC: they have phagocytic capacity, express adhesion molecules and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II antigens and can produce and release interleukin-1 (IL-1). We have obtained several T cell clones specific for Mesocestoides corti antigens and used T cell hybridoma specific for ovalbumin (OVA) to test this hypothesis. Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor-activated pure eosinophils (99.9%), express class II antigens and are able to present M. corti antigens to specific T cell clones or OVA to T cell hybridoma 3DO 11.10, inducing the proliferation of T cell clones and IL-2 release by the T cell hybridoma. Proliferation of T cells clones is dependent on the number of eosinophils used as APC. We have compared the efficiency of the same number of macrophages and eosinophils as APC, and have found that macrophages are more efficient than eosinophils. Lysosomotropic agents, such as chloroquine and ammonium chloride, that inhibit antigen processing, impaired eosinophil presentation. This presentation is restricted by MHC class II and inhibited by anti-I-Ad monoclonal antibody. The present study provides clear evidence of APC function for eosinophils. Our investigation points to a new role for eosinophils in the immune response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ammonium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology*
  • Cell Separation
  • Chloroquine / pharmacology
  • Eosinophils / immunology*
  • Female
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / analysis
  • Hybridomas / immunology*
  • Interleukin-2 / biosynthesis
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Interleukin-2
  • Ammonium Chloride
  • Chloroquine