Basophils are primarily associated with a proinflammatory and immunoregulatory role in allergic diseases and parasitic infections. Recent studies have shown that basophils can also bind various bacteria both in the presence and the absence of opsonizing Abs. In this report, we show that both human and mouse basophils are able to produce mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and to form extracellular DNA traps upon IL-3 priming and subsequent activation of the complement factor 5 a receptor or FcεRI. Such basophil extracellular traps (BETs) contain mitochondrial, but not nuclear DNA, as well as the granule proteins basogranulin and mouse mast cell protease 8. BET formation occurs despite the absence of any functional NADPH oxidase in basophils. BETs can be found in both human and mouse inflamed tissues, suggesting that they also play a role under in vivo inflammatory conditions. Taken together, these findings suggest that basophils exert direct innate immune effector functions in the extracellular space.
Copyright © 2014 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.