Eosinophil adoptive transfer system to directly evaluate pulmonary eosinophil trafficking in vivo

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Apr 9;110(15):6067-72. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1220572110. Epub 2013 Mar 27.


Most in vivo studies of granulocytes draw conclusions about their trafficking based on examination of their steady-state tissue/blood levels, which result from a combination of tissue homing, survival, and egress, rather than direct examination of cellular trafficking. Herein, we developed a unique cell transfer system involving the adoptive transfer of a genetically labeled, bone-marrow-derived unique granulocyte population (eosinophils) into an elicited inflammatory site, the allergic lung. A dual polychromatic FACS-based biomarker-labeling system based on the IL4-eGFP transgene (4get) or Cd45.1 allele was used to track i.v. transferred eosinophils into the airway following allergen or T(H)2-associated stimuli in the lung in multiple mouse strains. The system was amenable to reverse tagging of recipients, thus allowing transfer of nonlabeled eosinophils and competitive tracking of multiple populations of eosinophils in vivo. The half-life of eosinophils in the blood was 3 h, and migration to the lung was dependent upon the dosage of transferred eosinophils, sensitive to pertussis toxin pretreatment, peaked at ∼24 h after adoptive transfer, and revealed a greater than 8-d eosinophil half-life in the lung. Eosinophil migration to the lung was dependent upon recipient IL-5 and IL-13 receptor α1 and donor eosinophil C-C chemokine receptor type 3 (CCR3) and interleukin 1 receptor-like 1 (ST2) in vivo. Taken together, this unique eosinophil transfer system provides an unprecedented opportunity to examine airway eosinophil migration without the need for extensive efforts to acquire donor source and time-consuming genetic crossing and has already been used to identify a long eosinophil half-life in the allergic lung and a definite role for ST2 in regulating eosinophil trafficking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer*
  • Alleles
  • Allergens / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Asthma / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Movement*
  • Eosinophils / cytology*
  • Eosinophils / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Granulocytes / cytology
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Hypersensitivity / metabolism
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-5 / metabolism
  • Lung / cytology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Receptors, Interleukin-13 / metabolism


  • Allergens
  • Biomarkers
  • Interleukin-5
  • Receptors, Interleukin-13
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Interleukin-4