Observation and Quantification of Eosinophil Motility

Methods Mol Biol. 2021;2241:139-148. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1095-4_12.


Eosinophils are important for tissue homeostasis and host responses to pathogens and allergens. The impact of eosinophils within tissues depends in part on whether cytotoxic proteins in crystalloid granules are released. Determinants of eosinophil motility and loss of granule contents are incompletely understood. The goal of this chapter is to present methods to study the effects of potential mediators on purified human blood eosinophils interacting with adhesive proteins found in extracellular matrix. We show that differential interference contrast video-enhanced microscopy and a bead-clearing assay provide complementary information about how different mediator-adhesive protein combinations direct eosinophil motility and granule fate. The former method is rich in information about cell shape, pattern of movement, and state of granules whereas the latter method lends itself to quantification and interrogation of multiple conditions in replicate.

Keywords: Crystalloid granule; Cytokines; Differential interference contrast video-enhanced microscopy; Extracellular matrix; Migration; Motility; Periostin.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / analysis
  • Blood Proteins / analysis
  • Cell Migration Assays / methods*
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / chemistry
  • Eosinophil Granule Proteins / chemistry
  • Eosinophils / cytology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / immunology
  • Flow Cytometry / methods
  • Humans
  • Microscopy / methods


  • Allergens
  • Blood Proteins
  • Eosinophil Granule Proteins