Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE

Nature. 1988 Jun 30;333(6176):816-8. doi: 10.1038/333816a0.


When human polymorphonuclear basophils, a type of white blood cell with antibodies of the immunoglobulin E (IgE) type on its surface, are exposed to anti-IgE antibodies, they release histamine from their intracellular granules and change their staining properties. The latter can be demonstrated at dilutions of anti-IgE that range from 1 x 10(2) to 1 x 10(120); over that range, there are successive peaks of degranulation from 40 to 60% of the basophils, despite the calculated absence of any anti-IgE molecules at the highest dilutions. Since dilutions need to be accompanied by vigorous shaking for the effects to be observed, transmission of the biological information could be related to the molecular organization of water.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / immunology*
  • Basophils / immunology*
  • Basophils / metabolism
  • Histamine Release*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / immunology
  • Research Design


  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
  • anti-IgE antibodies
  • Immunoglobulin E